Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The King is Dead

Dateline: Sandringham, February 6, 1952

King George VI, the man who saved the UK from Nazi annihilation, has died at Sandringham, his country estate.  His majesty spent the previous day hunting with Lord Fermoy, afterwards playing with his grandchildren Charles and Anne before dining with his daughter Margaret.  The king later died in his sleep.  

News of the events at Sandringham were slow to reach the new queen. Elizabeth and her husband Phillip were vacationing at a game resort in Kenya, then one of the remotest parts of the world, during a tour of the Commonwealth.  

Granville Roberts, a reporter for The East African Standard, was covering the royal tour when he heard the news of the King's death via Reuters, and informed the queen's private secretary, who then alerted Phillip's. Assured the news was accurate, the Prince was informed, and it was he who informed the Queen.  

The first photo of the Queen

Arrangements to return to London were quickly made.  The bulk of the queen's luggage had already been sent along to her next planned stop on the tour, including the customary mourning outfit, that all royals and heads of state travel with.  The queen's floral dresses wouldn't do upon arrival in London.

 During an unscheduled landing due to weather in north Africa, arrangements were made to meet the plane in London with the appropriate clothing for the Queen and Prince.  Once properly attired, the Queen and Prince Phillip emerged to assume their new lives.

The King is Dead, God save the Queen.


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