The 1970’s saw “Decimal Day” in Britain bring about new currency, there was a Royal Wedding, and a Silver Wedding Anniversary. The Queen danced with a President, and by the end of the decade, Britain had its first female Prime Minister. For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it began in Australia.
Royal Visits Down Under
Australia featured frequently for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the 1970’s. Along with her husband Prince Philip, and her children Princess Anne, and for part of the trip, Prince Charles, she visited Australia at the beginning of 1970 to help mark the celebration of the discovery of Australia by Lieutenant James Cook, two hundred years earlier.
In an event that drew worldwide attention, Her Majesty returned to Sydney, Australia in 1973, to open the world-famous Sydney Opera House, and again in 1974 to open the Australian Parliament in Canberra.
All Change Back Home
February 15th 1971 saw the launch of Decimal currency in Britain, with “Decimal Day” bringing an end to a thousand years of pounds shillings and pence. In anticipation of this day, the Royal Mint had struck 2 billion coins that were distributed to banks and then on to shops for them to be able to give the new currency out as change.
The Country Celebrates
On November 20th 1972 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary. The public lined the streets of London as the royal couple took a car ride through the capital, waving to the crowds. There were also street parties around the country, to celebrate the event.
A Royal Wedding
At Westminster Abbey, on 14th November 1973, Princess Anne married British Army cavalry officer Mark Phillips. It was watched by an estimated 500 million people worldwide. They had met at a party for horse lovers, in 1968. There love of horses was such that Princess Anne won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 1971 for Eventing, and Mark Phillips was part of the Eventing team that won gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Dancing with a President
On July 4th 1976, the United States of America celebrated the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. Shortly after this event, the Queen and Prince Philip were invited to a state dinner at the White House in Washington DC, hosted by President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty, to celebrate the continuing relationship of the United Kingdom and the United States. At the dinner, the Queen and the President danced together.
A year later, the new Unites States President, Jimmy Carter, was invited by the Queen to a state dinner at Buckingham Palace with other heads of state during a NATO summit.
In 1977, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 25 years on the throne . It was a year that saw the Queen and Prince Philip travel extensively on “goodwill” visits. Throughout 1977 they visited 36 counties in Britain and they embarked on a Commonwealth tour later that year, taking in Tonga and Fiji, then on to New Zealand and Australia.
They rounded this off by travelling on to Papua New Guinea, then to the West Indies, and finally ending in Canada where they were joined by Prince Charles. Also, in this year, the Queen welcomed her first grandchild as Princess Anne gave birth to her first child, Peter.
A Female Prime Minister
On 4th May 1979 Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. As was tradition the Prime Minister would meet the Queen in private, to discuss affairs of the nation, every week for the next eleven years.
The 1970’s saw a major milestone for Her Majesty with her Silver Jubilee and the 1980’s was to bring a “fairytale wedding” and the arrival of further grandchildren.
The QEII 1977 Silver Jubilee Coin and stamp Set contains a full set of proof condition British coins from 1977 and five commemorative stamps in unused mint condition. A wonderful way to remember this decade and you can purchase it HERE.