How long has the Queen reigned? A twist of fate changed her destiny entirely

As the Queen's Platinum Jubilee approaches, here's the history of her reign as British monarch

How long has the Queen reigned?—Queen's Platinum Jubilee
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Queen Elizabeth is the longest ever reigning British monarch and, as her Platinum Jubilee approaches, many are curious to know more about her reign thus far.


How old was the Queen when she became queen?

Princess Elizabeth and the Queen Mother

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The Queen was only 25 years old when she took on the role of monarch, but this path wasn't something she was born into.

Queen Elizabeth, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, was born at 17 Bruton St, London W1, on April 21, 1926. Becoming Queen wasn't always on the cards for Elizabeth.

Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, choosing his love of divorcee Wallis Simpson over his birthright. Their relationship made the woman&home list of the most iconic couples of all time—while also changing the lives of those around them. Elizabeth's father became King, and with no male heir—Elizabeth was suddenly the future Queen.

It was only a few years later that the Queen and Prince Philip first met in the sweetest way, back in 1939 when she was only 13-years-old. The Queen and Prince Philip got married on November 20, 1947, aged 21 and 26 respectively.

The pair remained happily married until Prince Philip died aged 99 at their beloved Windsor Castle. It's said that Prince Philip was still ‘fascinated’ and ‘charmed’ by the Queen after 73 years of marriage and that Prince Philip's last message to Prince Charles was, "Look after the Queen."

However, no relationship is perfect and after it was revealed that Prince Philip's will to be kept a secret to protect the Queen's 'dignity,' many speculated all wasn't as it seemed.

When and where was Queen Elizabeth crowned?

How long has the Queen reigned?—Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953

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On February 6, 1952, Elizabeth's beloved father King George VII, while she was on tour in Kenya with Prince Philip. At once, her whole life changed and she became Queen Elizabeth II.

However, her coronation came months after on June 2, 1953, in a ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey. Recently, rare childhood footage of Prince Charles at the Queen’s coronation was revealed and fans couldn't get over how adorable he was.

The event was historic for reasons other than the coronation itself. According to the BBC, it was a pivotal moment in the entertainment world.

They explain, "More than 20 million people watched the Service on television, outnumbering the radio audience for the first time." 

"The BBC knew the event would be popular—based on the reaction to the limited broadcast of George VI's Coronation Procession—but could not foresee that it would mark the coming of age of television, as well as the modernization of the monarchy."

Aoife Hanna


Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with over 1500 bylines and a background in creative writing, comedy and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the soon-to-be-published Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.