On this day in 1952, Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England, and all her colonies, in Westminster Abbey, which, if my math is correct, would mark her 69th anniversary, the longest-reigning British monarch in history, by a fair piece. I have reservations about the modern monarchy, but Elizabeth is an impressive figure, always poised and gracious from the first moment of her reign.

King Louis XIV ruled France for an impressive 72 years, and holds the historically longest sovereign rule – but then, he was a little lad of five when he acceded to the throne, while Elizabeth was 25 when she heard the news of her father, George VI’s, death, while on tour with her husband Philip in Kenya. Philip just died at the ripe old age of 99, while Elizabeth is still a spry 95, showing no signs of retiring or slowing down much – bestowing upon poor Charles the record of the longest-reigning heir-apparent in history. (He’s 72)

A few days before her coronation, on May 29th, Edmund Hilary and Tenzig Norgay had conquered Mount Everest in the name of Britain. Hence, the pageantry of Elizabeth accepting the crown of Britain and her empire was a high point of the old order – and it’s sadly been downhill ever since, into the sad, socialist quagmire that England now is, with immigration just barely balancing a low birth rate – Elizabeth’s four children would now be considered a rather distastefully large family, but would be on the smaller side when she had them.  And the Queen was crushed by the breakdown of her children’s marriages, calling 1992 her annus horribilils.

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