The World of Queen Elizabeth: 1926, 1952, and 2012
The world has changed a great deal during the life and rein of England's monarch
Queen Elizabeth II of England is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this week. The 86-year-old monarch of Great Britain was born on April 21, 1926. She became Queen upon the death of her father, George VI on February 6, 1952, sixty years ago. Her official coronation occurred on June 2, 1953.
The world has undergone some amazing changes during the span of Her Majesty's long life and reign. In honor of the festivities currently underway in London, here's a look at the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II of England, in 1926, 1952, and 2012.
Portait of Elizabeth as a child
The World in 1926
- Princess Elizabeth is born on April 21. She is the first child of Prince George, younger brother of Crown Prince Edward VIII. Her grandfather, George V, is King of England. As the female child of a younger brother. it does not seem likely that Elizabeth will ever become monarch. That all changes when Edward VIII abdicates in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson.
- The British Prime Minister is Stanley Baldwin.
- The President of the United States is Calvin Coolidge. Other world leaders include Joseph Stalin, who overthrows Trotsky to take control of the Soviet Union, Benito Mussolini in Italy, and Emperor Hirohito, who ascends the throne in Japan.
The World of Entertainment
- George Burns marries Gracie Allen.
- Television has not yet been invented, but radio features such popular shows as Sam 'n Henry, a forerunner of the more famous Amos and Andy.
- Music lovers crank up their gramophones to listen to Irving Berlin's hit song, "Because I Love You."
- Thousands of women are heartbroken when Rudolph Valentino dies at the age of 31. His last film is The Son of the Sheik.
- When it's time to cut a rug, revelers dance The Charleston.
- Giacomo Puccini debuts his new opera, Turendot.
- The movie Don Juan opens in New York City. This film is notable as the first movie to have a pre-recorded score and synchronized sound effects.
- A.A. Milne publishes Winnie the Pooh.
- Sinclair Lewis refuses to accept the Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith.
- French tennis star Suzanne Langlen wins The French Open in her final year of amateur competition.
- The St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series against the New York Yankees, led by Babe Ruth. This series is remarkable for two reasons: Ruth hits three home runs in Game Four, setting a record that will not be matched by another player until Reggie Jackson in 1977. Unfortunately, Babe Ruth also gets blamed for losing the seventh and final game of the series, when he is tagged out while trying to steal second base.
The Cost of Living:
- The Model T Ford costs $350.
- The price of an average house is $7,748.
- It costs 9 cents to buy a pound of bread.
- The average yearly salary is $1,313.
- Henry Ford introduces the forty-hour work week for employees of Ford Motor Company.
- Charles Strife patents his new invention, the toaster.
- Prohibition is in full swing, and speakeasies are common. Bugs Moran attempts unsuccessfully to assassinate Al Capone.
Coronation Portrait of Queen Elizabeth
The World in 1952
- British Monarch George VI dies on February 6. He is succeeded by his daughter Elizabeth. She is the first female sovereign monarch of England since Queen Victoria, and only the sixth in English history.
- Winston Churchill is the British Prime Minister.
- At the beginning of the year, Harry Truman is the U.S. President. Dwight D. Eisenhower goes on to win the Presidential election over Adlai Stevenson. Other world leaders include Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida of Japan, and Mao Zedong, Chairman of the People's Republic of China.
The World of Entertainment:
- Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan marries Nancy Davis.
- TV shows are broadcast in black and white. Hit shows of the day include the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Dragnet, and Your Show of Shows. The Today Show premieres on NBC, and children enjoy watching The Howdy Doody Show.
- Top songs of the year can by bought on vinyl, and they include "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" by Lloyd Price and "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" by Hank Williams.
- First Lady of Argentina Eva Peron dies at the age of 33.
- Popular movie actors and actresses include Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and Grace Kelly.
- Young people dance the Jitterbug and the Lindy Hop.
- Trouble in Tahiti, a one-act opera by Leonard Bernstein, debuts on the campus of Brandeis University.
- Paramount Pictures introduces Cinerama, a wrap-around big - screen experience that makes moviegoers feel like they were in the center of the action. This technique will be popular for ten years.
- E.B. White publishes Charlotte's Web.
- The Pulitzer Prize for literature goes to Herman Wouk for The Caine Mutiny.
- Bob Mathias of the USA becomes the first athlete to win a second consecutive Gold Medal in the Decathlon at the Olympic Games in Helsinki.
- The three-time defending New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the World Series.
The Cost of Living:
-You can buy a new car for $1,750.
- The average cost of a house is $9,050.
- A loaf of bread costs sixteen cents.
- The average salary is $3,400 a year.
-The Mau Mau Revolt against the British Crown begins in Kenya.
- The first jet airliner makes its maiden voyage from London to Johannesberg.
- A polio epidemic kills 3300 in the United States.
- Mother Teresa opens a hospice for the dying in Calcutta.
Watch the coronation of Elizabeth II here
Queen Elizabeth Today
The World in 2012
- Queen Elizabeth of England celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. She is Britain's second-longest reigning monarch; Queen Victoria ruled for sixty-three years.
- The British Prime Minister is David Cameron. He was appointed in 2010. Cameron is the thirteenth person to serve as Prime Minister during Elizabeth's reign.
- The President of the United States is Barack Obama, the first African-American elected to that position. Other world leaders include President Vladmir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and President Hu Jintao of China.
The World of Entertainment:
- Queen Elizabeth's grandson Prince William has been married to Kate Middleton for one year.
- The top television shows are reality shows - American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. The top scripted television shows are Modern Family and NCIS.
- Hit songs are downloaded from websites such as itunes. This year's hits include "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele, and "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction.
- Singing legend Whitney Houston dies on February 11 at the age of 48.
- The top box office hits are The Hunger Games, The Avengers, and Men In Black3.
- Urban dancers at the hip hop clubs know how to pop and lock.
- Pop legend Robin Gibb of the BeeGees composes a classic work called The Titanic Requiem.
- The most prevalent fad in movie technology is movies in very realistic 3D.
- If she desired, Queen Elizabeth could choose to attend the Summer Olympic Games, scheduled to begin on July 27. They are taking place in her home city of London.
- The St. Louis Cardinals are the current World Series titleholders; they defeated the Texas Rangers in the seventh game of the World Series on October 28, 2011.
The Cost of Living:
- It generally costs between $100,000 and $200,000 to buy a house, depending on the size of the house and the market.
- A new Ford Focus costs $18,300.
- A generic loaf of bread costs about $1.24. Brand name bread can cost much more.
- A median US income for a family with one paycheck is about $46,000.
- The Transit of Venus allows scientists to observe Venus as it travels between the sun and the earth. This phenomenon will not occur again until 2117.
- The Syrian Uprising is the latest in a series of political upheavals in the Middle East, as protestors call for the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee: 60 years in video
Books now available about Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee
Links about the Diamond Jubilee
- Elizabeth biography
- Queen Elizabeth ll : From birth until the Diamond Jubilee
An interesting look at Queen Elizabeth from her year of birth until now the Diamond Jubilee year.
- The Queen A Day In Her Life And The Diamond Jubilee
Her Majesty the Queen celebrates Her Diamond Jubilee this year. Here is a look at a typical day in the life of Queen Elizabeth II and Her plans for the Royal Jubilee.
- The Diamond Jubilee
The official website of the British Monarchy.