Great Britain

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation ceremony was broadcast for the first time on television from Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, allowing the general public to gain insight into what once was a more private affair. Queen Elizabeth II’s reign has continued to be marked by vast changes in both the monarchy and the United Kingdom’s power, despite the Queen continuing to take a constitutional approach to national and Commonwealth matters.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the British Empire evolved into the Commonwealth of Nations, following a number of possessions achieving independence from the Crown. However, throughout her reign, Elizabeth has continued to travel extensively, including symbolic visits to Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2011 – the first of its kind by any Monarch since 1911.

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In 2019, the Queen made a rare intrusion into politics when she agreed to a request by prime minster Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament less than three weeks before Britain’s planned departure from the European Union. As Queen, Elizabeth continues to modernise the monarchy, dropping many of its formalities and making royal sites and treasures more accessible to the public. She is currently the longest-reigning monarch in history.