On 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II rose to the throne following the death of her father, George VI, The official coronation happened on 5 June 1952 and since then Elizabeth II has presided over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations.
Therefore Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 ? marking sixty years on the throne. Queen Victoria remains the longest reigning monarch in British history; Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest reigning in 2016.
In celebration, an extended national Bank Holiday has been created between 2 June?and 5 June. To create this longer break, the normal Bank Holiday celeberated on the last Monday in May has been shifted by a week in 2012 to 4 June. The bank holiday will be filled with different events in honour of The Queen?s Jubilee:
Also called ?The Big Jubilee Lunch?, neighbourhoods up and down the country will be sharing with one another in celebratory street parties. There will also be picnics and outdoor parties organised in public areas.
On Sunday 3 June, over one thousand historic and modern ships from all over the world will sail down the Thames. The Pageant will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river and is expected it will be watched by over a million people on the banks of the river.
A spectacular, world-wide event known as the Diamond Jubilee Beacons is to be held on 4 June. 2,012 fires across the UK and the Commonwealth territories will be lit to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. Elizabeth II will start proceedings by lighting the initial ?National Beacon?. A similar beacon chain was lit for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.
Did you know? Despite clocking up an impressive sixty years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II is not the world's longest serving head of state. That accolade goes to King Rama IX who has reigned Thailand since June 9 1946.