Britain’s Queen Elizabeth marked 70 years on the throne in February 2022. Britain’s longest-serving monarch is the only sovereign most Britons have ever known. The Queen had been a constant presence as Britain navigated the end of empire, the swinging ’60s, the labor strife of the 1980s, international terrorism, Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • A man wears a face mask while he feeds birds, as the screen in Piccadilly Circus is lit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Britain's Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne, in London, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI, and five years after marrying Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, at London’s Westminster Abbey. She and Prince Philip had four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

The youngest great-grandchild, the daughter of Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, was born Sept. 20, 2021.

Prince Philip died at age 99 in April 2021.

In remarks released for the 70th anniversary of her rule, the monarch expressed a “sincere wish’’ that Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, should be known as “Queen Consort” when her son succeeds her as expected. With those words, Elizabeth sought to answer once and for all questions about the status of Camilla, who was initially shunned by fans of the late Princess Diana, Charles’ first wife.

In backing Charles and Camilla, Elizabeth remembered the support she received from her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year after decades at her side, as well as the role her mother played as the wife of a king.

“I am fortunate to have had the steadfast and loving support of my family. I was blessed that, in Prince Philip, I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it,″ she wrote. “It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”

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“And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” she added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.