The golden age of Elizabeth09 MARCH 2012
When she became Queen at the age of 25, few could have imagined the lengthy and successful reign that lay ahead.
Winston Churchill, however, predicted that Britain was about to a second golden age, guided by its new monarch, Elizabeth.
In an impassioned speech, the Prime Minister recalled that some of the greatest periods in the nation's history had unfolded under Queens, and declared that the new reign would eventually rival the greatness and vitality of the Elizabethan Age.
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Sixty years on, continuity and steadfastness are her hallmarks. Her time on the throne spans 12 British prime ministers, 12 American presidents and six Popes.
She has witnessed international and domestic change happen at breakneck pace and her unshakeable presence through it all has instilled respect amongst her subjects, most of whom can't remember any other sovereign.
This sense of achievement and security is also reflected in the Queen's own personal happiness, with her family and the Windsor brand having now emerged from the dark and hostile times that clouded them in the past.
Following the deaths of first her sister and then her mother in 2002, and the loss of Princess Diana, the sovereign is now supported by younger generations of the royal family.
Particularly close is her bond with the Duke of Cambridge, who shares the destiny that was thrust upon her as a young woman.
William has spoken tenderly of the personal and professional relationship he enjoys with his "incredible" grandma.
"She’s my grandmother to me first and then she’s the Queen," he told royal biographer, Robert Hardman. "Words that come from her, I take very personally and I really appreciate".
"Without the senior members of the family who've seen and done it all, the junior lot wouldn't be relevant. You need to have the balance and the experience".
William's words sum up the synergy between the two faces of the clan that has endeared them to younger generations.
This, coupled with his recent marriage to exciting newcomer Kate Middleton means the Queen can enjoy her golden years knowing that her legacy is in safe hands.