Timeline: Queen Elizabeth's remarkable 70 years on the throne

British monarch celebrates her platinum jubilee this weekend

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Queen Elizabeth II marks 70 years on the British throne on Sunday, a rare feat of longevity that has only been surpassed by a handful of other monarchs in history.

The queen, 95, came to rule Britain and more than a dozen other realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952. Her coronation took place the following year.

During the past seven decades, she has navigated her family through divorce, public scandal and a pandemic while also outlasting 14 UK prime ministers and 14 American presidents.

Here are some of the events and milestones of her reign before her platinum jubilee.

1952: George VI dies and Princess Elizabeth becomes queen, aged 25, during a visit to Kenya with her husband.

1953: The queen's coronation takes place at Westminster Abbey and is watched by millions of people around the world on television.

1955: Winston Churchill resigns as prime minister due to his failing health. Princess Margaret calls off her plans to marry Group Capt Peter Townsend.

1969: Prince Charles, first in line to the throne, has his investiture at Caernarvon and becomes the Prince of Wales.

Queen Elizabeth II greets well-wishers in north London during celebrations of her Silver Jubilee, 1977. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1977: The queen celebrates her silver jubilee and becomes a grandmother after her daughter Princess Anne gives birth to a son.

1979: Her second cousin and close friend, Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, is killed by an IRA bomb while on a fishing boat off the coast of Sligo, Ireland.

1981: Prince Charles weds Lady Diana Spencer during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

1982: The Falklands War breaks out and her son, Prince Andrew, is among those serving in the forces. An intruder makes his way into the queen's bedroom in Buckingham Palace but leaves without incident.

1986: Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson and becomes Duke of York.

Windsor Castle as dusk falls after fire swept through the queen's primary royal home. PA.

1992: The queen describes it “annus horribilis”. Her daughter, Princess Anne, and Capt Phillips divorce. Meanwhile, the Waleses and the Yorks also separate. Windsor Castle, the queen's primary residence, suffers an extensive fire.

1996: The Duke and Duchess of York divorce, as do the Prince and Princess of Wales amid intense scrutiny from the British press.

1997: The nation goes into mourning after Princess Diana dies in a Paris car crash. The following weeks represent a low point for the royal family's standing in Britain.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 06, 1997 (L to R) Earl Spencer, Diana's brother, Prince Harry, her son, and Prince Charles, her former husband, join the gun carriage carrying the coffin of Princess of Wales at Marlboro Road in London during the funeral. Scarred by the death of his mother, Prince Harry has struggled in the royal limelight for much of his life, and his fears for wife Meghan have now put him at loggerheads with his family. / AFP / Gerry PENNY

2002: The queen celebrates her golden jubilee. However, the year is marred by tragedy after the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret die.

2010: The queen becomes a great-grandmother when Savannah Phillips is born.

2011: Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The queen makes an official visit to Ireland for the first time.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh greet a crowd of admirers from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Photo: FilmMagic

2012: The queen marks her diamond jubilee and is one of the main guests at the London 2012 Olympics. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are expecting a baby.

2015: The queen becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch with more than 63 years on the throne, surpassing her predecessor Queen Victoria. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is born.

2016: The queen celebrates her 90th birthday. She also becomes the world's longest-reigning, still-serving monarch after the death of the king of Thailand.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wave to guests attending "The Patron's Lunch" celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday on The Mall on June 12, 2016 in London, England. 10,000 guests have gathered on The Mall for a lunch to celebrate The Queen's Patronage of more than 600 charities and organisations. The lunch is part of a weekend of celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday and 63 year reign. The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of The Royal Family are also in attendance. During the lunch a carnival parade will travel down The Mall and around St James's Park.  (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

2017: The queen reaches her sapphire jubilee — 65 years on the throne. The queen and Prince Philip celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary after 70 years of marriage.

2019: Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Boris Johnson becomes prime minister. Meanwhile, the Duke of York steps down from royal duties amid sex abuse allegations.

2020: Prince Harry and Meghan quit royal life in Britain and move to the UK. The monarch is forced to cut back duties as Britain goes into lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.

2021: Prince Philip dies, aged 99. His funeral takes place in Windsor Castle as coronavirus restrictions severely curtail commemorations.

Updated: February 05, 2022, 4:00 AM
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