Elizabeth II, marking her Platinum Jubilee, became queen on Feb. 6, 1952

“There has been much speculation, not least because of historical parallels, about when precisely Elizabeth became Queen,” wrote Sally Bedell Smith, in her biography of the monarch. “It undoubtedly happened when she was atop the African fig tree, which draws a romantic line to the moment in 1558 when Elizabeth I, seated next to an oak tree at Hatfield House, heard that the death of her sister, Queen Mary, meant she was the monarch, also at age twenty-five.”

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By Betty C. Giordano

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