60 years on the throne

Image source: nasa.gov @ wikipedia

The moment a princess became a queen

It is exactly 60 years since Princess Elizabeth, on a trip to Kenya, became Queen. What were the events that followed, and how prepared was the 25-year-old?

It was February 1952 and Princess Elizabeth was enjoying a short break in Kenya with Prince Philip, her husband of five years. It was a brief respite from their royal duties.

They were standing in for George VI on a long-planned international tour that was to also take in Australia and New Zealand. The 56-year-old King, thousands of miles away at Sandringham, had been too ill to travel.


Source: BBC News



Vocabulary:

a brief respite -

duties -

to stand in for sb -

to take in (places) -

a game-viewing lodge -

a watering hole -

surrounded by -

to pass away -

thrilling(adj) -

an aide -

to break the news to sb -

the grounds (of a place) -

to put aside -

grief (n) / to geieve -

bravely -

to stand up to sb/stg -

slacks(n) -

a draft -

distress (n) -

to quote sb/stg -


to bring sb up -

to wave sb off -

failing health -

to carry out (an engagement) -

a cue -

to hoist (a flag) -

the union jack -

half mast -

to summon -

to witness -

sudden (adj) -


spread (adj) -

a wireless -

to lie in state -

to bury -

to spark -

a wave -


a purchase -

a broadcast -

deemed (adj) -

to label -




Answer the following questions about the text.

  1. How long has she been on the throne?
  2. What happened on February 6th 1952?
  3. How long had Philip and Elizabeth been married?
  4. Where were they staying?
  5. What had Elizabeth been doing the day before?
  6. Who told Elizabeth about her father?
  7. What did she do before returning home?
  8. How did she react publicly to the news?
  9. In what ways was she ready to become Queen?
  10. How was the King's death different from how it would be treated today?
  11. How did the children at one particular school suspect something awful had happened?
  12. How did most people hear the news of his death?
  13. What was the difference between the funeral procession and the fuenral service?

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