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The Queen’s most memorable moments from Meghan wedding to Princess Diana’s death

The Queen has represented the UK with great stoicism throughout the happiest, saddest and most challenging times of her unmatched 70-year reign.

She became monarch in 1952 at the age of 25 following the sudden death of her father George VI and throughout her incredible reign, she has experienced the happiest of days as her children wed and gave birth to children of their own. Grandchildren and later great-grandchildren followed.

She enjoyed tours around the globe to celebrate both Silver Jubilee and Golden Jubilee celebrations – but the Queen has also endured grief, pain and heartache from her 'Annus Horribilis' year of 1992 to the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997.

As the nation gears up to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee we look at some of her most memorable moments.

Elizabeth ascends the throne and coronation

Elizabeth discovered she was going to become Queen while on holiday in Kenya after being told the tragic news that her father King George VI had died.

She rushed back to England and was instantly thrown into the global spotlight. She succeeded to the throne on February 6, 1952.

Despite her grief, she didn’t miss a step during her coronation and was later named Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year.

The coronation of Elizabeth II was a national event. Cccurring on June 2 1953, it was the first ever to be broadcast on television.

With more than 8,000 VIP guests, from foreign prime ministers to Commonwealth heads of state, the ceremony saw the Archbishop of Canterbury adorn her with the crown, and her reign began.

The Queen visits West Germany

The Queen's visit to West Germany was historic as it marked the 20-year anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

It was also the first official visit by a British royal since 1913 and as well as symbolising the reconciliation between the two countries, it also recognised Germany’s re-emergence as a power in Europe and on the world stage.

The Silver Jubilee

More than one million people swarmed the streets of London to see the Queen and to celebrate 25 years on the throne in 1977.

The royal family sat in a golden state coach and were led to St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the start of the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen delivered a moving speech which featured the heartfelt appreciation of the ‘loyalty and friendship’ extended to her by the British people while street parties were held all over the country.

Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer

It was the wedding the whole world had come to watch.

On July 29, 1981, an estimated 750 million people in 74 countries around the world tuned in to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer, at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The romance between the heir to the British throne and his 18-year-old bride had attracted massive media attention and their lavish wedding nuptials were considered the “wedding of the century.”

The Queen's Annus Horribilis as she faces tests

The Queen will always remember 1992 but for all the wrong reasons.

She described it as her 'Annus Horribilis' after a year of heartbreak.

In 1992, two of the Queen's children announced their marriages were breaking up while another got divorced.

Charles and Diana announced their decision to separate and Prince Andrew separated from his wife Sarah Ferguson. Anne also divorced her husband Mark Phillips.

On top of this family heartbreak, the Queen had to deal with a fire at Windsor Castle which destroyed more than 100 rooms.

In a speech delivered to mark the 40th anniversary of her succession, Queen Elizabeth said that 1992 “has turned out to be an 'Annus Horribilis' which is Latin for "a horrible year."

The Queen's response to Princess Diana's death

When Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997 the Queen was criticised for her actions.

The general public felt that the Queen had reacted coldly, staying in Scotland while London erupted in grief. The Queen was reportedly comforting Prince William and Prince Harry during this time.

She was also criticised for not flying a Union Jack flag at half-mast in tribute to Princess Diana's death but this was rectified.

The Queen made a decision to pay a heartfelt tribute to Diana in a live television broadcast.

During the broadcast, she said: "She never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.

"I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys."

She then bowed to the coffin during her funeral. Public opinion had swayed in favour once more towards her majesty.

The Golden Jubilee

The queen’s celebration of her 50th year on the throne was marred by a double loss as she lost two of the closest people to her.

Her younger sister Princess Margaret died followed by her mother within weeks of each other.

As the first British monarch since Queen Victoria to celebrate a Golden Jubilee, Elizabeth travelled more than 40,000 miles that year including visits to the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

She also visited 70 cities and towns in 50 counties in the United Kingdom while the nation had street parties to celebrate

The birth of Prince George

The Queen welcomed a new great-grandson in 2013 and a future heir to the throne.

Prince George was born two years after Prince William and Kate Middleton married.

As third in the line of succession after his grandfather and his father, George is widely expected to become king one day.

His birth marked the first time since Victoria’s reign that three generations of direct heirs to the British throne were alive at the same time.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

The marriage of Prince Harry to a divorced, biracial American actress symbolised the modernising Royal family.

The Queen is said to have reportedly given her quick approval to the match but the relationship between the couple and the British media—as well as the rest of the royal family – has grown increasingly tense.

In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping back from their role as senior royals. They later moved to Markle’s native Southern California with their son, Archie, born in 2019 and daughter Lilibet, who was born in 2021.

Prince Phillip's death

The Queen's rock Prince Phillip sadly passed away on April 9, 2021. He was 99.

He had been at her side for 73 years.

The British monarchy’s longest-running love story began just before World War II, when 18-year-old Prince Philip of Greece met his third cousin, Princess Elizabeth, during her family’s visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where Philip was studying.

On November 14, 1947, the couple were married in Westminster Abbey, and King George VI named Philip as Duke of Edinburgh shortly after that.

For more than a half-century, Prince Philip supported his wife in her royal duties.

Philip's funeral was held on April 17, 2021. Because of coronavirus restrictions, only 30 guests were invited to attend.

Photos of the queen sitting alone in St. George's Chapel struck many as a symbol of her loneliness and grief.

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