The monarchy has always fascinated me. Yes, other countries have kings and queens, but the tradition in England is what is etched in our minds. The crowns, the throne, the whole big show, it's what makes the British monarchy an enduring institution. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year and she's one of the rare leaders to see a 60-year reign, the other being Queen Victoria, who ruled a total of 64 years. If Elizabeth makes it to her Platinum Jubilee, she will be 96 years old.

One honor being bestowed on the Queen is the renaming of one of the world's most famous clock towers, Big Ben. It was proposed Friday that the tower be re-named the Elizabeth Tower. It's the first time the tower has seen a commonly known name change in it's 153 years of existence. Although Elizabeth's official reign began in February of 1952, this weekend the country is celebrating for four days, including a concert on Monday night featuring Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, and Annie Lennox with possibly more participating.

Want to know everything about Queen Elizabeth II? Here's a retrospective of her life and her continuing reign.


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