Seventy years ago on February 6, 1952, King George VI passed away after 16 years on the throne, leaving his eldest daughter, then 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth to succeed him as monarch.
Today, the long-reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, marked her Platinum Jubilee, celebrating an incredible and monumental 70 years on the throne.
When she was 21-years-old, the then princess promised, in a heartfelt speech, that her “whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”.
These important words still ring true today as the Queen has been a beacon of hope for the United Kingdom throughout the last seven decades, dedicating her life to the service of her country and the Commonwealth of Nations.
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The 96-year-old monarch reflected upon this in a statement to mark her 70-year ascension to the throne.
Recalling the pledge she made in 1947 when she was a 21-year-old princess, she said in her statement to mark her Platinum Jubilee saying that “it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service”.
“As I look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism to the year of my Platinum Jubilee, I am reminded of how much we can be thankful for,” she said.
“These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that have benefited us all; and I am confident that the future will offer similar opportunities to use especially to the younger generations in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth.”
Her Majesty also reflected on being “fortunate” to have had her late husband Prince Philip – who passed away last year – by her side for most of her reign.
✍️ On the eve of the 70th anniversary of her Accession to the throne, The Queen has written a message thanking the public and her family for their support, and looking forward to #PlatinumJubilee celebrations over the coming year. #HM70 pic.twitter.com/U6JfzeZMLn
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 5, 2022
“I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it,” she said. “It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”
The monarch then looked ahead to the future. While she thanked everyone for the support and loyalty they have shown her over the years during her reign, the Queen acknowledged that when “the fullness of time” would come apparent for Prince Charles to become king, the public would show the same support and gratitude to the heir apparent and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
To which the Queen then acknowledged Camilla would eventually be known as Queen Consort. Over the years, this has been up for debate as Camilla is the second wife of Charles, who was married to the beloved late Princess Diana from 1981 to 1996.
Concluding her Platinum Jubilee message, the Queen shared her hopes that it would be an occasion to bring loved ones and family together.
“And so as I look forward to continuing to serve you with all my heart, I hope this Jubilee will bring together families and friends, neighbours and communities – after some difficult times for so many of us – in order to enjoy the celebrations and to reflect on the positive developments in our day-to-day lives that have so happily coincided with my reign,” she said.
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Images: Royal Family Instagram