Queen Elizabeth Celebrated a Major Milestone Amid Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Drama

Queen Elizabeth’s impressive reign has just reached yet another milestone. This month, Her Majesty marked the 68th anniversary of her accession to the throne, extending her streak as the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Britain. Of course, this major milestone comes amid all the drama surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s desire to stop being senior members of the royal family and live independently. With Queen Elizabeth poised to sit on the throne for at least another year, here’s a look at how she celebrated the big anniversary.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Samir Hussein/WireImage

A look at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation

Queen Elizabeth’s rise to the throne was an unlikely one. Born the oldest daughter of King George VI, she was never expected to inherit the crown. Her father’s older brother, Prince Edward, was first in line to the throne and was supposed to sit on the throne next.

That all changed, of course, when Edward abdicated and George became the King. From that moment on, Elizabeth knew that she would one day sit at the head of the monarchy.

Elizabeth ascended to the throne following King George VI’s death on February 6, 1952. Her official coronation took place the following year.

Ever since then, Elizabeth has ruled as the Queen of the United Kingdom, becoming the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Britain.

On February 6, 2020, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 68th year on the throne, though she did not mark the occasion as some fans might expect.

How did Queen Elizabeth celebrate her 68th anniversary on the throne?

When King George VI died in 1952, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were on a royal tour in Kenya. It was actually Philip who broke the news to Queen Elizabeth, who was understandably devastated.

Elizabeth and Philip canceled the rest of their tour and immediately flew back to London. But her mourning clothes were famously sent to another city in Kenya, so Queen Elizabeth was forced to return home without them.

 While the world celebrates her 68th year on the throne, Queen Elizabeth marks the anniversary like she does every year: behind closed doors with her husband, Philip.

This year was no different. Before heading back to Buckingham Palace to resume her royal duties, the Queen stayed at her Sandringham Estate with Philip and honored her father’s memory in private.

Queen Elizabeth honors her father’s memory

According to Town and Country, prior to celebrating her 68th anniversary as Queen, Her Majesty spent the past week doing things in honor of her father’s memory.

Queen Elizabeth, for example, was present for the opening of the Wolferton Pumping Station, which was a revamped version of the same building her father dedicated in 1948. King George was very interested in the station and had a particular fondness for Sandringham in general.

This is one reason why the Queen decided to stay at her estate in Sandringham for the anniversary. In previous years, Her Majesty waits to return to official duty until after February 6.

But she opted to make an appearance at the pumping station earlier in the week, which was a nice nod to her father.

The royals celebrate New Zealand’s Waitangi Day

While Queen Elizabeth gets ready to return to her royal duties, the rest of the royal family is celebrating New Zealand’s Waitangi Day. The event is done in commemoration of the Treaty of Waitangi, in which the British Crown was given sovereignty over the land.

Members of the royal family took to social media to congratulate citizens of New Zealand on their special day. This includes a shout-out from Prince William and Kate Middleton, who posted images from their tour of the region.

Even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got in on the fun and posted a tribute to New Zealand. As fans will recall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the country in 2018 and wished everyone a joyful Waitangi Day.

Her Majesty, of course, also shared some pics of her and Philip visiting New Zealand over the years. The photos were posted on the royal family’s main Instagram account.

Queen Elizabeth has not commented on the reports surrounding her 68th anniversary on the throne. She is expected to return to Buckingham Palace in the coming days.