The story of the day and hour of Elizabeth’s accession to the throne has been told many times, but it remains a compelling story. It’s history with echoes of Arthurian romance.
On the morning of her father’s death, 25-year-old Elizabeth was sitting in a treehouse in Kenya, from where she had seen a herd of matriarch-led elephants approach a watering hole. Her father, King George VI, was too ill to travel and had ordered Elizabeth and her husband Philip to embark on a months-long tour of the Commonwealth in what was then the twilight of the British Empire. George saw his daughter take off from London Airport on January 31, 1952. It was the last time the two saw each other.