The reign of Queen Elizabeth II inevitably started in sadness, with the death of her beloved father King George VI. And as the child of a loving, enduring marriage, herself part of a long and secure partnership, the divorces of her sister and children must have been particularly painful.
The Queen referred to 1992 as her “Annus Horribilis” (Awful Year), a year when Prince Andrew separated from Sarah, Duchess of York, Princess Anne divorced Captain Mark Phillips, Windsor Castle was badly damaged in a fire and Prince Charles and Princess Diana agreed to separate. Worse was to follow when on 31st August 1997, Princess Diana tragically died in a car crash in a Paris underpass. Then in 2002, her Golden Jubilee year, her Majesty suffered a double blow. First on 9th February Princess Margaret died, aged 71, following a third stroke.
On 30th March Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep, aged 101. For 50 years she had been a rock for her daughter and now, having seen her through triumph and sorrows to her Golden Jubilee, she was finally at rest.