Four days of celebrations, punctuated by military parades and concerts. It was necessary to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the reign of Elizabeth II, never seen before in the history of British royalty. In seven decades at the helm of the United Kingdom, the queen has visited more than a hundred countries, known as ten French presidents, seen the birth of nearly 87% of her country’s current population, and has maintained immense popularity despite crises. On the occasion of the British monarch’s platinum jubilee, franceinfo sums up a record reign in seven infographics in many ways.
His kingdom is bigger than Russia
If Elizabeth II is queen of England and the United Kingdom, she also rules over fourteen other Commonwealth states. The sovereign is thus the head of state du Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea or Belize. The other countries she rules over are islands or archipelagos in the Caribbean or the Pacific Ocean. His kingdom covers more than 18.5 million km2, which is more than the size of Russia.
Yet when she ascended the throne in 1952, she ruled over even larger territory. Countries such as Malaysia, Nigeria and Kenya gained independence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Other independent countries such as Pakistan or South Africa have chosen to become republics and therefore no longer regard the Queen of England as their head of state. Barbados is the last state to do so in late November 2021.
She could defeat Louis XIV
Among the current heads of state, Queen Elizabeth II holds the record for longevity, ahead of other rulers. With more than 70 years in power, she stands far ahead of the 55-year-old sultan of Brunei. The Scandinavian monarchs Margrethe II (Denmark) and Carl XVI Gustaf (Sweden), who have been in power for 50 and 49 years respectively, complete this list of unstoppable heads of state.
However, the absolute record of the longest reigning monarch does not yet belong to Elizabeth II. In Europe, Bernard VII ruled the principality of Lippe (a German state) in the 15th century for 81 years and 7 months. A record she could break if she lived to be 107 years old. On the other hand, the 72 years of Louis XIV’s reign in France seem more accessible.
She saw ten French presidents parade
As a result of her great longevity, Elizabeth II saw a succession of many foreign heads of state. When he came to power in 1952, the United States was ruled by Harry Truman, the USSR by Joseph Stalin, and Spain by Francisco Franco. In France, the head of state was Vincent Auriol, the first president of the Fourth Republic.
Since then, ten presidents of the French Republic have succeeded each other. François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac, both of whom have been in office for the longest time, 14 and 12 years respectively, are also the only ones to have been welcomed by the Queen in the United Kingdom (1984 and 1996) and to have received in France for a state visit (1992 and 2004).
She has visited more than 100 countries
In seven decades of reign, Elizabeth II had the opportunity to meet well dforeign heads of state during its 89 state visits. A These are in addition to the Queen’s more than 170 trips to the Queen’s countries Commonwealth. In all, more than 100 countries were visited by the Queen during her official travels.
The countries most visited by the monarch are members of the Commonwealth of which it is the sovereign. Canada is thus a favorite destination, with no less than 27 visits, followed by Australia (18 views) and New Zealand (10 views). Outside the Commonwealth, the countries that had the right au more queen state trips are France and Germany, with five visits. Elizabeth II visited the Hexagon in 1957, 1972, 1992, 2004 and 2014.
Most Britons only knew her
As a consequence of his great longevity, no Briton under the age of 70 has ever known another monarch on the throne. This represents almost 87% of the UK population, according to the 2018 census figures.
Its popularity is at its peak
Her 70th reign does not seem to have eroded the queen’s popularity: according to a poll conducted by YouGov in the first quarter of the year, 75% of Britons said they had a favorable view of Elizabeth II. Its popularity reaches 91% among “baby boomers” (people born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s), but two-thirds of “millenials” (people born in the 1980s and 1990s) also have a good opinion of their sovereign.
The queen remains the most popular member of the royal family, followed by her grandson Prince William (66% positive) and Kate Middleton. Then come the queen’s first two children: Princess Anne and Prince Charles. Called to succeed his mother, the Prince of Wales collects only 50% positive opinions. Among the least popular members of the royalty are Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle. who withdrew from the royal family in 2020gather less than a third of favorable opinions.
Prince Charles is waiting his turn
Who says 70 years of reign for Elizabeth II also says 70 years of waiting for Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest son, born in 1948, four years before she was crowned. Heir to the crown since his mother ascended the throne, the Prince of Wales has been in this position for the longest time since the birth of the United Kingdom in the early 18th century.
Prince Charles is ahead of Prince Albert Edward, son of Queen Victoria, who ruled the kingdom for 63 years in the 19th century. And his three ancestors who had been heirs to the throne for the longest time (Princes Albert-Edouard, Georges and Edouard) all ended up becoming kings. A role he has been preparing for … for 70 years.