The Milestones of Queen Elizabeth II

Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was a beacon of strength, stability, honour and grace, managing her role as both monarch and mother in such a way that her legacy will continue to live on.

Her incredible reign of over 70 years is the longest of any British monarch, as well as the longest reign in the history of any female head of state. Thus, throughout her time as monarch she marked a variety of milestones and achievements. Here are some of the key milestones during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign…

Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation and Jubilees

The most significant events in Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, as with any monarch’s reign, were her coronation in 1953, and her Silver, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilees. In 1977, the first royal jubilee that the Queen reached was the Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years on the throne. After that, the next milestone was her Golden Jubilee in 2002, where she became only the sixth monarch in British history to celebrate fifty years on the throne.

Reaching the 60th anniversary of ascension to the throne in 2012 was a momentous occasion for Queen Elizabeth II, as she is only the second monarch ever to have celebrated this milestone, with the first being Queen Victoria in 1897. Then on 6 February 2017, she became the first British monarch to commemorate a sapphire jubilee which was followed by her fifth and final jubilee milestone in 2022; the Platinum Jubilee. As Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch ever to reach a Platinum Jubilee in British History, marking 70 years on the throne became the biggest celebrated event ever.

The marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

Elizabeth met Philip when she was just 13 years old, and the couple were eventually married at Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947. Their marriage was the longest of any British monarch, lasting until Prince Philip died on 9th April 2021. During their marriage, they reached a number of significant anniversaries. Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary and a platinum wedding anniversary in 2007 and 2017 respectively.

The couple had a total of four children together. Their first son, Charles (now King Charles III), was born on 14th November 1948. Their only daughter, Anne, was born two years later, and the couple welcomed two further sons, Andrew and Edward, in 1960 and 1964. When Elizabeth II gave birth to Andrew, it was the first birth to a reigning British monarch since 1857.

Queen Elizabeth II and her ‘firsts’

One of the first royal events that Queen Elizabeth II undertook was a seven-month worldwide tour with her husband in 1953. In total, they visited 13 countries and covered more than 40,000 miles. During this tour, she became the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those countries. During her reign, the Queen made hundreds of tours and state visits to other countries, making her the most widely travelled monarch.

During a visit to the United States in 1957, Queen Elizabeth II opened the 23rd Canadian Parliament and became the first monarch of Canada to open a parliamentary session. She also made a visit to Yugoslavia in 1972 and became the first British monarch ever to visit a communist country. In 2011, the Queen was invited to visit the Republic of Ireland by the Irish president, Mary McAleese, becoming the first British monarch to make this state visit. The following year, she also became the first British monarch since George III in 1781 to attend a peacetime Cabinet meeting. Finally, Queen Elizabeth II opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London, which made her the first head of state to open two Olympic Games in two different countries.

On 21st December 2007, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-lived British monarch, surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Eight years later, on 9th September 2015, she then became the longest-reigning British monarch and longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in the world, making this one of her biggest milestones ever. On this day, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled to Scotland to open the new Scottish Borders Railway formally. During this event, the Queen stated “Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness”.

Our latest range features designs that recall the State funeral and military procession with which our nation laid to rest our longest reigning monarch. You can take a look at these incredible sovereigns HERE.