The Queen's Platinum Jubilee – Celebrating 70 Years on the Royal Throne
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee – Celebrating 70 Years on the Royal Throne25th May 2022
The Key Destinations that had an Impact on Queen Elizabeth II
This year Queen Elizabeth II marked 70 years on the British throne, and is the only British monarch ever to do so. As we approach the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations to commemorate this, we look at the past 70 years of her Majesty’s reign, and the significant trips and locations that have made an impact on her over the years.
How Many Countries has the Queen Visited?
The Queen is the most travelled monarch in British history having visited 120 countries in her life, but it was not until she was aged 20 that she made her first trip abroad. In 1947 alongside King George VI and the Royal family, Princess Elizabeth (as she was then known) travelled to South Africa for a two-month visit. The trip was said to have “a profound and lifelong effect” on her. Whilst there she celebrated her twenty-first birthday and received a necklace adorned with 21 gemstones.
The Royal Hometown
The city in which the Queen spends most of her time, and the location of her official residence. London has been a key setting for many Royal events during her reign and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations will be no exception. From commiserations to celebrations, these iconic London sights have seen it all:
The key residence of the UK’s Royal family since 1837 and the administrative headquarters of the monarch. With 775 rooms and set on 39 acres of the land, the Queen spends most of her time living in this central London Palace. Buckingham Palace has witnessed many key ceremonial events over the years, including Royal Garden parties, Regal Royal Weddings with the famous balcony appearances, and the iconic trooping of the Colour parade.
This Royal Church in central London has been affiliated with the Royal family for thousands of years, and every British Monarch has been coronated here since William the Conqueror in 1066.
Elizabeth II was married to Prince Phillip at Westminster Abbey on the 20th November 1947. Her coronation ceremony also took place here on 2nd June 1953. Some of her children and grandchildren also married at the Abbey including Prince William and Kate Middleton. Westminster Abbey has also been host to some sombre occasions including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth I, the Queen Mother and more recently the service of Thanksgiving for the life of The Duke of Edinburgh – the Queen’s husband of 73 years.
Named in honour of the Queen, and officially opened by her, the Elizabeth line is the most recent addition to the extensive London Underground Tube network. Launched in May 2022 this new line will eventually stretch over 100km from Reading and Heathrow, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. This will improve the networks capacity and reduce travel times from key London destinations.
Where did Elizabeth II go on Honeymoon?
After the Royal wedding, Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh began married life with a honeymoon to Broadlands Estate in Hampshire, which was the home of Prince Philip’s uncle Earl Mountbatten. The couple travelled by train from Waterloo Station and even took their beloved corgi Susan.
Where is The Queen’s Favourite Home?
The second part of the honeymoon was spent at Birhall on the Royal Balmoral estate in the Highlands of Scotland. The Balmoral Estate is a working estate covering an extensive 50,000 acres and contains forests, mountains, lochs and gardens. As well as the impressive Balmoral Castle there are 150 buildings on the estate which is located around 50 miles west of Aberdeen. Balmoral is said to be the Queen’s favourite private residence and she holidays here every summer, often accompanied by other members of the Royal Family.
The First Marital Home
Once married, Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of York lived at Clarence House in London. They also spent some time living in Malta between 1949 and 1951, as the Duke of Edinburgh was stationed there as a Royal Navy officer. The Queen later described this as one of the best periods of her life as she was able to live relatively ‘normally’.
A Princess Becomes the Queen in Kenya
On the 6th of February 1952, King George VI passed away in his sleep after a long illness, leaving the Royal throne to 25-year-old Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor as the next in line. Elizabeth was actually away in Kenya on a tour of the Commonwealth at the time of her father’s passing. On February the 7th Elizabeth landed back at Heathrow and took her first steps on UK soil as the Queen. A day later at a council held at St James Palace Elizabeth officially recognised her new role as head of state.
The Commonwealth Tour
During her reign as Queen and head of the commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II has made many state visits, particularly to the Commonwealth countries. In November 1953 she began the longest Commonwealth Tour to date spending six months travelling 44,00 miles with her husband, visiting the West Indies, Australasia, Asia, and Africa. The couple then sailed home from Gibraltar abroad the Royal Yacht Britannia. There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth has visited each one except for two which are Cameroon and Rwanda.
Which Country Has The Queen Visited Most?
Canada - The Queen has visited Canada an impressive 27 times, making it her most visited country. Canada is an independent Sovereign state in the Commonwealth and Elizabeth II is officially titled ‘The Queen of Canada.’ Queen Elizabeth has a fondness for Canada and its people and has described the country as a ‘second-home.’
A Momentous state visit to West Germany
20 years since the end of World War II in 1970 the Queen made history by making the first Royal visit to West Germany. The visit was years in the making, and she received a warm welcome from the German people. This was an important symbolic event for the country, and it represented political reconciliation.
The First Royal Walkabout in Sydney
In 1970, whilst on a Royal tour to Australia and New Zealand with Prince Philip and Princess Anne, the trio conducted the first official Royal Walkabout, in Sydney, Australia. This gave the crowds a much more personal impression and enabled the Royals to meet and greet a lot more people. Prior to this, spectators only caught a glimpse of Royals as they drove by in cars on their way to meet the officials and dignitaries they were scheduled to visit.
An Historic Trip to the Republic of Ireland
In May 2011 the Queen made the first visit to the Republic of Ireland by a British Monarch in one hundred years. Despite being the neighbouring country to the UK, the Republic of Ireland has had a volatile relationship with the British Monarchy and the visit required extensive planning and one of the biggest security operations ever mounted. The visit was described by Irish President Mary McAleese as “an extraordinary moment in Irish history - a phenomenal sign and signal of the success of the peace process and absolutely the right moment for us to welcome onto Irish soil Her Majesty the Queen.”
In her 96 years, Queen Elizabeth II is by far the most travelled Monarch in history and has made over 271 foreign trips and visited 120 countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. Did you know SilverDoor Apartments offer accommodation in nearly all these locations too?! If you want to follow in her footsteps browse our range of serviced apartments in London fit for a Royal.
This year, to celebrate the landmark of 70 years on the throne, a special four-day bank holiday in the UK has been planned and a range of events across the country and commonwealth nations will mark the occasion.