This Article Is Based On An Address Delivered to a Luncheon at Parliament House, Sydney, on 6th February 2008 to Mark the Fifty-Sixth Anniversary of the Queen’s Accession.
(The address has been enlarged and updated for publication.)
Fifty-six years ago on 6th February 1952 H.R.H the Princess Elizabeth succeeded her father King George VI and took the name Elizabeth II. When she was born on 21st April 1926, there was little to indicate that this would be her destiny. Her father H.R.H Prince Albert, Duke of York, was born on 14th December 1895 — a less than felicitous date. It was the thirty-fourth anniversary of the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, the Prince Consort. It was also the seventeenth anniversary of the death of their second daughter, Princess Alice, wife of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse. Prince Philip of Greece, born in 1921, who was to loom large in the life of the Princess Elizabeth, was through this Hessian connection the great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria.