Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning British monarch. She reigned for over 70 years, from 6 February 1952 until her death during her Platinum Jubilee year at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, on 8 September 2022.
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21 April 1926 in London, the first of two daughters to the then Duke and Duchess of York. On the abdication of King Edward VIII in December 1936, her father succeeded to the Throne as King George VI and her mother, became Queen Elizabeth. King George VI died on 6 February 1952, and the princess succeeded to the Throne as Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 amid ancient and historic pageantry. In November 1953 the Queen and Duke embarked on a tour of the Commonwealth realms. They arrived at Auckland on 23 December 1953 and commenced what was a hugely successful and memorable tour for both young and old, departing from Bluff on 30 January 1954. It was the first tour by a reigning monarch, and in Wellington on 12 January 1954 she formally opened a session of the New Zealand Parliament wearing her Coronation gown. The Queen and Duke made a further nine visits between 1963 and 2002.
Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, she was interred on 19 September 2022 in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, with the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on 9 April 2021, and her parents, King George VI (1895-1952) and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1900-2002).
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Date of issue: 6 September 2023