The Flight That Brought a Girl Home to Become Queen Elizabeth II
Listen to The Beatles' "Back in the USSR" today, and pay special attention to those first couple lines:
Flew in from Miami Beach. BOAC. Didn't get to bed last night. On the way the paper bag was on my knee. Man, I had a dreadful flight.
BOAC. British Overseas Airways Corporation. This airline still exists today, believe it or not; with rebranding, you'll recognize them as British Airways. BA wasn't just a favorite airline of the Beatles, as you'll see in these photos sent to us by British Airways.
That is Queen Elizabeth II arriving at London-Heathrow on February 7, 1952, the date of the Proclamation of her accession to the throne, following the death of her father, King George VI. She was in Kenya with her husband, beginning a tour that would stretch from Kenya to Australia and New Zealand, when she became Queen overnight, necessitating this BOAC return flight to London.
All of this is especially notable now, as it's the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The UK will celebrate her 60 years on the throne officially during a special long weekend bank holiday, lasting June 2-5.
Below, a telegram the Queen received mid-flight from the Queen Mother:
[Photos: British Airways]