The new queen received this telegram from her mother. (British Airways )
British Airways shared the above archival photo of a telegram from mother to daughter — but not just any mother and daughter. The mother was the onetime Lady Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, whose husband was King George VI; the daughter was Elizabeth, who was on her way to a tour of Australia and New Zealand when she received news in Kenya of the death of the king, her father, on Feb. 6, 1952.
Here’s what the telegram says: Address: “Her Majesty the Queen.” Text: “All my thoughts and prayers are with you. Mummie Buckingham Palace.”
The message, says British Airways (BOAC, British Overseas Airways Corp. was its predecessor), was received by radio and copied onto a form that was then given to the new queen.
She arrived back in London on Feb. 7, 1952.
The three months after the king's death were a period of full mourning. By summer, Queen Elizabeth II had moved into Buckingham Palace and in November of that year, opened Parliament. Her coronation, at Westminster Abbey, took place June 2, 1953. Diamond Jubilee festivities begin Saturday and end Tuesday.