Yesterday, February 6, marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession Day, and the start of a momentous Diamond Jubilee year! Though I imagine it’s a day of some personal sadness for her (marking the death of her father, George VI, who she was quite close to), it’s an extraordinary achievement for an extraordinary woman who has seen and done so very much during her long reign. I wish I could be in London for some of the festivities this year (especially the Jubilee River Pageant on the Thames on June 3)!!!

Princess Elizabeth was only 25, a young wife with two small children (Charles, 3, and Anne, 1) when she and Prince Philip were sent off on a Commonwealth tour in February 1952. She probably didn’t expect to assume the responsibilities of queen for some time yet. Her parents waved her off, and only a few days later her father was dead. She was in Kenya, and hurried home to be proclaimed Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and Defender of the Faith before the Privy Council at St. James’s Palace. It was a solemn occasion, as the king was being brought from Sandringham to lie in state at Westminster Hall and then to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, where the funeral was held and he was buried, to be joined many years later by Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.

The coronation didn’t take place until June 2, 1953–I’m sure I will be talking more about that later! In the meatime, I’m in the middle of reading Sally Bedell Smith’s new bio, Elizabeth the Queen…will let everyone know how it is when I finish…

Are you going to be in England this year?? What festivities would you attend if you were there?