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Elizabeth Becomes Queen of England

Queen Elizabeth (Getty Images)

It was on this day in 1952 that England’s King George VI died after a long illness at the royal estate.

If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘The King’s Speech, you’d know George had a speech impediment but overcame it to deliver radio speeches during World War II to boost the morale of the country. The king’s oldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was in Kenya when her father died, and with his death, she inherited the throne. She was officially crowned queen in June of 1953.

From the very beginning, Elizabeth seemed to understand the importance of public relations, and she allowed her coronation to be televised. There were many who objected to making it such a spectacle, including Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who thought putting it on TV would cheapen the ceremony. I guess we’ve seen where that theory has gone. It also did something else: It encouraged millions of people especially in the United States and Canada to buy TV sets.

Elizabeth is the second-longest serving British monarch. Only Queen Victoria had a longer reign, but Elizabeth is getting closer. Elizabeth has been queen for 62 years. Victoria had the crown for 63 years, 7 months.

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