LONDON (AP) — Gun salutes rang out in London and Edinburgh on Monday to mark the official start of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year.
Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, became queen after her father, King George VI, died of lung cancer at age 56 on February 6, 1952.
The monarch does not celebrate the anniversary of the date she became queen, known as Ascension Day, as it is also the anniversary of her father’s death.
In a statement released Saturday, the 95-year-old queen recalled the death of George VI and the seven decades of “extraordinary progress” that his reign has encompassed.
The queen made it clear that she intends to continue as head of state, renewing a promise she made on her 21st birthday to dedicate her life to serving the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
He also sought to shore up the future of the monarchy by saying it was his “sincere wish” that Prince Charles’s wife, Camilla, would be known as the “queen consort” when her son became king. With those words, Isabel sought to answer once and for all questions about Camila’s status, who was initially rejected by fans of the late Princess Diana, Carlos’s first wife.
While Sunday’s anniversary was low-key, public Platinum Jubilee celebrations are scheduled for June, when the weather is typically sunnier. The festivities will include a military parade, a day of horse racing and neighborhood parties. There will also be a competition to create a new dessert to be consumed during the jubilee weekend from June 2-5.