Milestones and events of the Queen’s long reign

As the Queen reaches 25,000 days on the throne, here are some of the events and milestones of her reign:

1952: George VI dies and Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen. Flood devastates the Devon village of Lynmouth. Mau Mau rising in Kenya.

1953: Sweet rationing ends in Britain. Queen Mary dies. Everest conquered on eve of the Coronation.

1954: Study links cancer to smoking. Crash grounds BOAC’s Comet aircraft. French defeated at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. Elvis releases his first record. Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile record.

The Queen
The Queen on Coronation Day in 1953 (PA)

1955: Cyprus goes on strike against British rule. Sir Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister due to his failing health. The Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies. Princess Margaret calls off plans to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.

1956: Hungarian uprising and Suez crisis. Teddy Boys rock around the clock. Prince Rainier III of Monaco marries American film actress Grace Kelly.

1957: Prime Minister Harold Macmillan tells a Tory rally “most of our people have never had it so good”. The Treaty of Rome sets up the European Economic Community. Russians launch the Sputnik satellite, the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.

1958: Race riots flare in Notting Hill. Manchester United players die in the Munich air crash.

1959: The Mini car makes its first appearance and the first UK motorway, the M1, opens.

1960: Macmillan’s Wind Of Change speech. Princess Margaret marries Tony Armstrong-Jones.

1961: John F Kennedy succeeds Dwight D Eisenhower as US president. Berlin Wall rises. Soviet Union puts first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space.

JFK
American President John F Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in 1961 (PA)

1962: US spaceman John Glenn orbits the Earth. The Cuban Missile crisis is resolved.

1963: Lord Beeching wields the axe on British Rail. Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech. John F Kennedy is assassinated. Profumo scandal. Great Train Robbery. One of the coldest, snowiest winters on record.

1964: Beatlemania grips the UK and US. Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston. Mary Quant pronounces Paris fashion “out of date”.

1965: Rhodesia declares independence. US bombs North Vietnam. Britain appoints its first female High Court judge.

1966: Swinging London revolves around Carnaby Street and the Kings Road. The Queen Mother undergoes major abdominal surgery. England win the World Cup. Aberfan disaster in Wales.

England v West Germany
England captain Bobby Moore holds the Jules Rimet Trophy, collected from the Queen, after England’s 1966 World Cup win (PA)

1967: Breathalyser introduced. Arab-Israeli War. Nigerian Civil War. Abortion and homosexuality are legalised.

1968: Enoch Powell makes “rivers of blood” speech. Ulster Troubles erupt with civil rights protests.

1969: Death penalty for murder permanently abolished in Britain. Prince of Wales’s Investiture at Caernarvon. British troops sent to Northern Ireland. American Neil Armstrong becomes first man to walk on the Moon. Woodstock music festival.

1970: Voting age cut from 21 to 18. North Sea oil fields discovered. First jumbo jet lands at Heathrow. Edward Heath wins election for the Tories. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi takes over as leader of Libya.

Ted Heath and the Queen
The Queen with Prime Minister Edward Heath and American President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat at Chequers in 1970 (PA)

1971: British entry into EEC agreed. Decimalised currency launched in the UK. Angry Brigade bombs Employment Secretary’s home.

1972: Miners’ strike and power crisis – state of emergency declared. Industrial Relations Act disputes. Bloody Sunday. Duke of Windsor dies. First home video game system is released.

1973: Britain joins the EEC. The Princess Royal marries Captain Mark Phillips.

1974: Edward Heath loses narrowly to Harold Wilson, who wins second general election. US President Richard Nixon resigns over the Watergate affair.

1975: Margaret Thatcher becomes Conservative Party leader. Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts. End of Vietnam War.

1976: James Callaghan replaces Wilson at No 10. One of the hottest summers on record. Concorde begins commercial flights.

1977: Lib-Lab pact. Grunwick picket clashes. Punk rock. Silver Jubilee. The Queen becomes a grandmother. Red Rum wins Grand National for a record third time.

The Queen
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on a tour to Fiji during the Silver Jubilee year of 1977 (Ron Bell/PA)

1978: Rhodesia settlement. Anna Ford becomes ITN’s first primetime woman newsreader. Red Brigades kidnap former Italian premier Aldo Moro. World’s first test tube baby, Louise Brown, born in Oldham. Winter Of Discontent strikes.

1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first woman prime minister. Queen’s art adviser Anthony Blunt exposed as Russian spy. Fall of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. Islamic revolutionaries come to power in Iran.

1980: SAS storms Iranian Embassy. Runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe win Olympic gold.

1981: Brixton riots. The Prince of Wales weds Lady Diana Spencer. Unemployment reaches 2.5 million. Britain in recession. The launch of the first space shuttle – Columbia.

Royal wedding
Prince Andrew, the Queen Mother, Earl Spencer and the Queen with the newlywed Prince and Princess of Wales (PA)

1982: Falklands War – Prince Andrew is among those serving in the forces. Intruder in Queen’s bedroom. Pope visits Britain. King Henry VIII’s Mary Rose raised in the Solent. Prince William born. Economic recession.

1983: US President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars speech. Russians shoot down Korean jetliner.

1984: The IRA bombs Grand Hotel, Brighton. Indira Gandhi assassinated. Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia appeal. Miners’ strikes. Prince Harry born.

1985: Bradford City football stadium fire kills 56. Heysel stadium riot kills 39. Live Aid concert held to raise money for Ethiopian famine.

1986: Funeral of Duchess of Windsor at Frogmore. Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson and becomes Duke of York.

1987: Zeebrugge disaster. The Great Storm sweeps through southern England. IRA bombs Enniskillen Remembrance Day parade. Hungerford massacre. King’s Cross fire.

1988: Piper Alpha oil platform disaster. Lockerbie jumbo jet bombing. Government loses Spycatcher legal battle. Professor Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time is published.

1989: Hillsborough disaster. Berlin Wall falls. Tiananmen Square massacre. Author Salman Rushdie goes into hiding. Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web.

1990: John Major becomes prime minister. Iraq invades Kuwait. Nelson Mandela is released from prison. Poll tax riots.

1991: Allies launch Operation Desert Storm in Gulf War against Iraq. Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev resigns. Birmingham Six freed after 16 years in jail.

1992: The Queen’s “annus horribilis” – the Princess Royal and Captain Phillips divorce, the Waleses and the Yorks separate, Windsor Castle goes up in flames. Black Wednesday – the day Britain crashed out of the ERM. The break-up of Yugoslavia.

The Queen in 1992
The Queen delivers her speech at the Guildhall when she branded 1992 her ‘annus horribilis’ (PA)

1993: Publication of the Prince of Wales’s intimate talk with Camilla Parker Bowles. The IRA bombs Warrington. Buckingham Palace opens to the public. Stephen Lawrence is stabbed to death in Eltham, south-east London.

1994: Labour leader John Smith dies. The Queen and French President Francois Mitterrand open the Channel Tunnel. 50th anniversary of D-Day. Prince of Wales admits adultery in TV documentary. IRA ceasefire. The Queen visits Russia. Genocide in Rwanda.

1995: Official Aids cases pass one million mark. Barings Bank collapses. Terrorist gas attacks panic Tokyo and Yokohama. VE Day and VJ Day commemorated. Princess Diana’s Panorama interview.

1996: The Duke and Duchess of York divorce. The Prince and Princess of Wales divorce. Mid-air crash in India kills more than 350. Fire in Channel Tunnel. Ban on exports of British beef amid BSE crisis.

1997: New Labour under Tony Blair beats the Conservatives, ending 18 years of Tory rule. Royal Yacht Britannia decommissioned. Diana, Princess of Wales dies in Paris car crash. Scotland and Wales votes for devolution. Dolly the Sheep cloned. Handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China.

1998: War breaks out in Europe as a Nato coalition attacks Yugoslavia. Digital TV launched. Operation Desert Fox in Iraq. Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. Omagh bombing.

1999: Birth of single European currency, the euro. Prince Edward marries Sophie Rhys-Jones.

2000: A new millennium and the Queen Mother’s 100th year. British rower Steve Redgrave makes Olympic history by winning his fifth consecutive gold medal. George W Bush becomes US president.

The millennium
The Queen joins Prime Minister Tony Blair and wife Cherie during the singing of Auld Lang Syne at the millenium New Year’s Eve celebrations (PA)

2001: September 11 terrorist attacks. Foot-and-mouth outbreak in UK. First space tourist. Britain joins the US in strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

2002: The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret die. Twelve European Union countries adopt the euro.

2003: Britain and the US go to war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

2004: Double Olympic gold for Kelly Holmes in 800m and 1,500m in Athens. Asian tsunami kills more than 100,000.

2005: Pope John Paul II dies and is succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI. The Prince of Wales marries Camilla Parker Bowles. London wins 2012 Olympics bid. July 7 terror attacks in London. Civil partnerships give same-sex couples legal rights.

2006: The former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is hanged in Baghdad. Lebanon War.

2007: Gordon Brown replaces Tony Blair as Prime Minister. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.

2008: Jury return a verdict of unlawful killing in the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The UK enters a recession following the financial crisis. Barack Obama is elected to become the first black US president.

2009: Singer Michael Jackson dies. Swine flu pandemic. MPs’ expenses scandal.

2010: David Cameron becomes Prime Minister, leading a Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Queen becomes a great-grandmother for the first time when Savannah Phillips is born. Volcanic ash cloud blowing in from Iceland grounds flights. Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest.

2011: Middle East uprising. Japanese tsunami. Nato air raids on Libya. Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Queen visits Ireland. The summer riots.

The Queen in Ireland
The Queen on her historic state visit to Ireland in 2011 (John Stillwell/PA)

2012: The Queen marks her Diamond Jubilee. London 2012 Olympics. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are expecting a baby.

2013: Continuing civil war in Syria. Pope Benedict XVI resigns. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis. Baroness Thatcher and Nelson Mandela die. Prince George of Cambridge is born.

2014: Major flooding in England and Wales. The first same-sex wedding takes place after gay marriage becomes legal in England and Wales. Crisis in Iraq and Syria over the Islamic State militant group. Scotland votes “no” to independence. Ukraine crisis. Ebola epidemic.

2015: Attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge born. Conservative win majority in general election. Migrant crisis. The Queen becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Terror attacks in Paris, including at the Bataclan concert hall.

2016: Shooting at gay nightclub in Orlando. Queen celebrates her 90th birthday. British astronaut Tim Peake returns to Earth after a six-month mission on the ISS. The UK votes for Brexit in referendum on the EU. Theresa May becomes Prime Minister. The Queen becomes the world’s longest-reigning, still-serving monarch after the death of the king of Thailand.

The Queen's 90th birthday
The Queen and Philip ride in an open-top Range Rover in Windsor to mark the monarch’s 90th birthday (Steve Parsons/PA)

2017: US President Donald Trump takes office. The Queen reaches her Sapphire Jubilee – 65 years on the throne. Manchester Arena bombing. Early election. Grenfell Tower fire. The Queen and Philip celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary.

2018: Diplomatic row breaks out with Russia over poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal. Prince Louis of Cambridge born. Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle.

2019: Notre Dame fire. Terrorist attack in Sri Lanka. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK. England win the Cricket World Cup. Theresa May resigns. Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister. The Duke of York steps down from royal duties amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

2020: Megxit – Harry and Meghan quit royal life. Brexit – the UK leaves the EU. Coronavirus outbreak. Lockdown in the UK. Black Lives Matter protests follow the death of George Floyd in the US.

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