How the world changed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth

How the world changed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth became Queen of England in 1953 upon the death of her father, King George VI. This year, Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 96th birthday on April 21, continuing her 70-year place on the throne. The world has changed dramatically over the past 70 years: the British Empire still had colonies all over the world, and the World Wide Web would not be invented until decades later. There had never been a female Prime Minister and all the countries of Europe still had their own currency.

Queen Elizabeth is the longest reigning monarch in UK history, and since taking the throne, the UK and the world have changed enormously. LGBTQ+ rights and women’s rights around the world have grown tremendously, and landed gentry and nobility have seen their positions of power and influence decline. The world became, in some ways, more homogenized – as with standardized currency and cooperative unions – and in some ways less, with colonial declarations of independence that only officially ended when Britain ceded control of Hong Kong in 1997.

On the eve of his birthday, Stacker looked back at all the ways the world has changed during his nearly 70 years on the throne. Using news reports and historical sources, Stacker compiled a list of 15 ways the world changed during his reign.

While the Queen’s birthday is April 21, the country will officially honor her with a celebration on June 11, the second Saturday in June. The Queen’s official birthday is usually celebrated with a 41-gun salute at Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute at Windsor Great Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.

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