• Imagining History

Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee - 70 Years Of History

Updated: Jun 27

In June 2022, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. That’s Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary of becoming queen.


Elizabeth II acceded to the throne when her father passed away in February 1952 when she was just 25. Her coronation took place over a year later on 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey in London. In June 2022 we celebrate her 70th year reigning as Queen.


70 years as Queen! That’s around 840 months. Or about 3,652 weeks. Or 25,567 days. Or 613,620 hours. Or… okay this is getting silly.





Either way, this makes her the longest-reigning British monarch (Queen Victoria comes in at second-place, having reigned for 64 years). So to honour the occasion, we’ve gathered some fascinating historical facts about the last 70 years of her reign.



Here are some interesting tidbits about Elizabeth II and her reign as Queen:

  • The Queen’s coronation ceremony was televised across the globe and millions of people watched it.

  • Elizabeth II doesn’t rule as Queen in the way that Kings and Queens may have ruled in the past. Nowadays, the role of "Queen" is more symbolic. She is known as a “constitutional monarch” and is a ceremonial leader but can’t put any laws into effect (this is the job of the government).

  • The Queen meets with the Prime Minister of Britain almost every week, often at Buckingham Palace.

  • Elizabeth married Philip in 1947 and had 4 children together; Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

  • Elizabeth also has 8 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

  • Queen Elizabeth describes 1992 as her “Annus Horribilis” or “Horrible Year”. In this year, 3 of her children got divorced and a fire destroyed parts of Windsor Castle.

  • The Queen has seven official royal residences throughout the UK. She spends most of her time at Buckingham Palace in London.

  • In September 2015, Queen Elizabeth became the new record holder for the longest-reigning British monarch.




Over her 70 years as Queen, Elizabeth II has witnessed a plethora of historical events, including:

  • The first-ever television broadcast by ITV in 1955, marking the start of commercial television in Britain

  • The opening of the first motorway, the M6 bypass in Preston in 1958

  • England winning the FIFA World Cup in 1966

  • The first-ever flight of the supersonic commercial aeroplane, the Concorde in 1969 (and its last ever flight in 2003!)

  • The change in currency from Pounds, Shillings and Pence to the decimalised Pounds and Pence system in 1971

  • The first-ever female British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in 1979

  • The opening of the longest single-span bridge in the world, the Humber Bridge, in 1981

  • The invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989

  • The opening of the Channel Tunnel linking England and France in 1992

  • England winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003

  • The launch of Facebook in the UK around 2005

  • The launch of the first iPhone not long afterwards in 2007

  • The Olympic Games in London in 2012 (and she even parachuted into the opening ceremony!)

  • The introduction of the meat-free sausage roll at Greggs in 2019 (saved the best ‘til last there didn’t we… you’re welcome.)



Want some more fun stats about Queen Elizabeth’s reign to impress your friends with? We’ve got you covered. By the year 2022, over the course of her reign, the Queen has:

  • Been served by 14 Prime Ministers

  • Travelled over 1 million miles

  • Toured at least 117 countries

  • Made 69 Christmas messages

  • Owned at least 30 Corgis

  • Celebrated 2 different birthdays every year (that’s 140 birthdays!)