The story of the day and hour of Elizabeth’s accession to the throne has been told many times, but it remains a captivating tale. It’s history with echoes of Arthurian romance.
On the morning of her father’s death, 25-year-old Elizabeth was perched in a treehouse in Kenya, from which she’d watched a herd of elephants led by matriarchs come to a watering hole. Too ill to travel, her father, King George VI, had tasked Elizabeth and her husband, Philip, with undertaking a months-long tour of the Commonwealth, in what was then the twilight of the British Empire. George saw his daughter off at London Airport on Jan. 31, 1952. It was the last time the two saw each other.