Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years as the reigning monarch of Britain this year. While the anniversary of her becoming queen was on February 6, the formal celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee run from June 2 through June 5.
Here is a look back at her life and reign – the second-longest in British history.
|April 21, 1926|
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is born to the Duke and Duchess of York, who would later become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Elizabeth's grandfather, King George V, dies. George's eldest son ascends the throne as King Edward VIII, but abdicates within the year. Elizabeth's father becomes King George VI, and Elizabeth becomes first in line to the throne.
Princess Elizabeth delivers her first public speech on the BBC's Children's Hour radio program, addressing children who had to be evacuated because of the war. She is 14.
Princess Elizabeth is made a Subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service -- the women's branch of the British army -- and by the end of the war, she reaches the rank of Junior Commander. She becomes a qualified driver and mechanic and drives a military truck. According to The New York Times, the queen is currently the last surviving head of state who served in uniform during the Second World War.
|November 20, 1947|
Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece, and a great-great grandson of Queen Victoria.
|November 14, 1948|
Princess Elizabeth has her first child, Prince Charles.
|August 15, 1950|
Princess Elizabeth has a daughter, Princess Anne.
|February 6, 1952|
Elizabeth's father, King George VI, dies. Elizabeth accedes to the throne. She hears the news while on a visit to Kenya, and has to cut the tour short to return home as queen. She is 25.
|June 2, 1953|
Queen Elizabeth's coronation. According to the Royal Family's website, it is the first time television cameras are allowed inside Westminster Abbey for a state function. Sales of television sets go up in the weeks leading up to the event. The footage is shipped to Canada and around the world for people to watch.
The queen visits New York and addresses the United Nations General Assembly. On the same tour, she visits Ottawa and opens Parliament.
|February 19, 1960|
The queen gives birth to Prince Andrew, her third child.
|March 10, 1964|
The queen gives birth to Prince Edward, her fourth and last child.
|July 1, 1969|
Charles is named the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne.
The queen celebrates her Silver Jubilee, for 25 years on the throne.
|June 13, 1981|
Shots are fired as the queen participates in the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. It turns out that they were blanks, fired by a teenager. The youth pleads guilty to charges under the Treason Act.
|July 29, 1981|
Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer in a widely-televised event. The queen attends as mother of the groom.
The Pope visits England, the first pope to do so in 450 years. The queen receives him in her capacity as the head of the Church of England.
The queen's "annus horribilis." Her son Prince Andrew and his wife separate, her daughter Princess Anne divorces her husband, her heir Prince Charles formally separates from his wife Diana, and a significant portion of Windsor Castle is destroyed by fire.
|August 31, 1997|
Princess Diana, Prince Charles' former wife, is killed in a car crash in Paris. The royal family goes into seclusion, prompting a public outcry, until the queen finally delivers a speech the day before Diana's funeral.
The queen marks her Golden Jubilee, 50 years on the throne. Her sister and mother die the same year, less than two months apart.
|April 29, 2011|
The queen attends the marriage of her grandson, Prince William, to Catherine Middleton. The event is broadcast to millions around the world. Prince William is second in line to the throne, behind his father and the current heir, Prince Charles.
The queen is to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years on the throne, with events in England. Prince Charles is to visit Canada.