The Demise of the Crown

cabinetroom

The current queen acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952. This is the event that Britain and the Commonwealth are commemorating this week. (The decision to hold the commemoration in June was presumably taken in an attempt to beat the British weather – an attempt which we now know to have been unsuccessful.)

The details surrounding the new queen’s accession 60 years ago were decided upon not by her courtiers or herself but by the United Kingdom’s elected government, as was only fitting in a long-standing constitutional monarchy.

In 1952, that government was headed by Sir Winston Churchill, and at 11.30 am on 6 February, just a few hours after George VI’s death, he gathered his Cabinet in 10 Downing Street for a discussion of the most pressing arrangements that needed to be made.

To mark the Diamond Jubilee, I have reproduced the conclusions of that brief meeting below…

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