The Queen at 90: Part 2
PUBLISHED: 16:38 23 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:38 23 May 2016
As The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday, we mark the special occasion with the second in our series of features looking back over her life
The Queen celebrated her 30th birthday in 1956 and it was the start of a busy period in her reign as she combined motherhood with royal duty. Often her young children would accompany her on her visits to Norfolk and were always by her side at Sandringham during the family’s Christmas celebrations.
As she settled into life as the country’s monarch, it was clear she very much enjoyed her time in Norfolk, whether relaxing at the royal residence or carrying out numerous civic duties. She attended official engagements, visiting schools, community groups, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, the Royal Norfolk Show and many special events, meeting the public and local dignitaries.
During the 1950s, The Queen and her sister Princess Margaret enjoyed the West Norfolk Hunt’s point-to-point races at Sporle. Not only did they get in the spirit of things while watching the racing, The Queen was on hand to give out prizes to the jockeys.
When she visited Norwich in 1968, it was a time of student unrest. However, the placard-carrying protesters were matched by large crowds welcoming her to the University of East Anglia campus, illustrating the affection the people of Norfolk have always shown for their Queen.
The Silver Jubilee in 1977 was celebrated around the nation and there was great delight when The Queen came to Norwich again as part of those celebrations, which included a display by more than 2,000 children at the Hewett School.
As she approached her 60th birthday, she made a historic visit to Great Yarmouth – the first time a reigning monarch had been to the town since 1916. Thousands of people packed the streets as she enjoyed a leisurely walk-about along the seafront and market place.
The Queen, from aged 30 to 60:
• A mother of two children already, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, The Queen gave birth to Prince Andrew in 1960, followed by Prince Edward four years later.
• The whole nation was celebrating in 1966 when England won the Football World Cup for the first, and only, time. The Queen presented the Jules Rimet trophy to a jubilant England team, led by captain Bobby Moore.
• In 1977, more than one million people lined the streets of London as the Royal Family made their way to St Paul’s Cathedral for the Silver Jubilee celebrations, and across the country, millions more tuned in to watch on television. Speaking at a commemorative lunch, The Queen said: “I want to thank all those in Britain and the Commonwealth who through their loyalty and friendship have given me strength and encouragement during these last 25 years.”
During the summer of that jubilee year, she embarked on a landmark tour, wishing to mark the occasion by meeting as many people as possible. No other sovereign had visited so much of Britain in the course of just three months.
• As well as fulfilling official commitments, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh had reason to celebrate at home with the arrival of their first grandchildren – Peter and Zara Phillips in 1977 and 1981, followed by Prince William and Prince Harry, in 1982 and 1984.
• The Queen made her first official visit to the USA in 1957, aged 31, when she was hosted by President Eisenhower. Almost 30 years later, she made another first major state visit – this time to China, becoming the first British monarch to do so.
Don’t miss next month’s EDP Norfolk magazine for the final part in our look back over The Queen’s 90 years.