Queen's Diamond Decades

The 1950s

Season 1, Episode 1 of 6

In 1952, the sudden death of King George VI changed Elizabeth's life forever. Elizabeth was just 25, and mother to Prince Charles, 3 years old, and Princess Anne, 18 months old, when she came to the throne. Winston Churchill was her first Prime Minister. Britain was still bandaging its war wounds and the coronation sparked the biggest party since VE Day. The country was relieved when rationing ended and enthralled as the queen named the new royal yacht Britannia. Terrible floods brought England back to earth and the Suez Crisis took the U.K. to the brink of war. But Britain was starting to party again, with the help of rock 'n' roll. Harold Macmillan's Britain had never had it so good. As the 1950s drew to a close, Elizabeth II had made a dazzling impression on the world. She and Prince Philip were expecting their third child and her glamorous sister was secretly engaged to be married. The 1960s was going to start with a bump.

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