Happy Platinum Jubilee Queen


WE have been quite busy in Papua New Guinea but Great Britain gave her Queen and ours a spectacular Platinum Jubilee celebrations to commemorate her 70th year on the throne.
The Queen thanked Great Britain and hailed the “renewed sense of togetherness” that left her deeply touched.
This newspaper joins Papua New Guineans and others around the world to congratulate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on achieving what no other monarch in British history has achieved.
We recount here some personal bio data and memorable milestones in this incredible journey.
Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later known as King George VI), and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Her full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Nicknamed Lilibet she enjoyed the early years of her life with all the privileges of being royal but without the pressure of being heir apparent.
She was the daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York, the younger son of the then King George VI.
She had no prospect of acceding to the throne until her uncle Edward VIII abdicated the throne in favour of Elizabeth’s father on Dec 11, 1936.
As an aside, The King’s Speech, the movie which won Best Picture at the Oscars in 2011 give a quite accurate account of the familial relations and what transpired at the time spoken of here.
With that Elizabeth, as the first daughter became heir presumptive to the throne of England.
On Nov 20, 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Upon the death of her father King George VI, Elizabeth II became queen on Feb 6, 1952 and was crowned on June 2, 1953.
The coronation was televised for the first time and 27 million in the United Kingdom and 11 million in her other realms watched.
She is the mother of Prince Charles, heir to the throne, as well as the grandmother of Princes William and Harry.
Her only daughter is Ann, the Princess Royal. Her other sons are Prince Andrew Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Queen Elizabeth is Head of State of 15 countries of the Commonwealth including Papua New Guinea.
As Head of State, she does not have any active or direct role in the governance of the day.
The duties, performed through a Governor-General include opening each new session of Parliament, granting royal assent to legislation and approving orders and proclamations.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Ann visited in 1974 as PNG was preparing for Independence.
She visited again on her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and visited Popondetta where her son Charles attended Martyr High School for a spell and Alotau. The royal couple visited again in 1982.
Although she remains seemingly aloof and descends to speak to her subjects in decrees and proclamations and in this country approving all legislations and other acts of Government through her Vice Regal, the Governor-General, she has tried to speak to members of her reign on a personal level always, speaking often about matters that were not strictly government business. For instance, when PNG hosted the South Pacific Games in 2015, she sent the following personal message: “Prince Philip and I send our best wishes to the Government and the people of PNG on the occasion of the 15th South Pacific Games. I am pleased to see that Australia and New Zealand will be participating in the Games for the first time this year.
“It is encouraging to see 24 countries from around the Pacific come together every four years to reinforce their common bonds and shared interests.”
The Queen’s husband of 73 years, Prince Philip died in April 2021 at age 99.
In February, she contracted Coronavirus and later said she was “very tired and exhausted”.
She has given no indication of stepping aside or slowing down and we wish her the very best in the years ahead.