This commemorative coin pays tribute to the 50th Anniversary since the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. Princess Elizabeth was on tour in Africa with her husband, Prince Phillip when news reached them regarding the death of her Father. Although the health of King George VI had been deteriorating ever since the war, the news still came as somewhat of a shock. Elizabeth recognising her duty to her country, immediately returned home to begin to fulfill her role as the world most important monarch at the tender age of just 25.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926 and was named Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. She was born in London the eldest daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York who would go on to become King George VI and his wife Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The young Elizabeth was known by the immediate family as Lillibet and she had a younger sibling, Princess Margaret. (Wikipedia, 2013) At the time of her birth, Elizabeth was third in line to her thrown whilst her father Prince Albert was second behind his elder brother. When Elizabeth's grand-father, King George V died her Uncle Edward became King. Later that same year, 1936 and coming as quite a shock to the family, Edward abdicated the throne in order to marry an American divorcee leading Prince Albert to succeed as King George VI. Elizabeth became heiress presumptive and as the King didn't go on to have a son, she would go on to become the Queen of the United kingdom and the Commonwealth realms.During the Second World War both Elizabeth and her sister Margaret remained in the UK. They were educated at home and began to make public appearances from an early age.
Elizabeth met Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark, her distant cousin a number of times throughout her childhood. In 1939 at the age of just 13 they began exchanging letters during which time she is said to have fallen in love. There engagement was announced 8 years later in 1947. The engagement was met with some controversy as many did not think Price Phillip good enough and his foreign origin was opposed. He dropped his title and took his British mothers maiden name and the couple were married with two children by 1950. After the war the health of King George VI began to decline and Elizabeth was taking on more and more royal responsibilities. In 1952 she heard news of her father death whilst touring Kenya and returned home to be made Queen. The televised coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth is a popular Queen who has taken part in numerous historic meetings has witnessed major national and global events through her reign. She has had her own personal celebrations and sorrows relating to her family and celebrated her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
This 50 cents coin commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne was issued both as an individual coin and also as a proof strike included within a two coin set. Both of these two coins commemorated the accession with the second coin being a 100 dollar gold proof coin. The coins were issued in a plush red presentation case. This set was succeeded the following year by an additional two coin set, this time commemorating the coronation of the Queen. Just like the release of the coins, the two major events took place a year apart. With the release of the Coronation set a large presentation case was made available, which was large enough to house all four coins if one so chose to place them together as one collection.
The reverse of this coin was designed by Wojciech Pietranik and has a very modernistic style about it. The majority of the design consists of text with a clever use of typography to create an interesting visual. The only imagery used is the royal crown and the Federation star, which effectively represent both the royalty and Australia. The words ELIZABETH ACCESSION written horizontally and FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY written vertically create a cross in the centre of the coin and four quadrants. In the lower left quadrant is the number 50, the upper left features the crown and the upper right bears the Federation star and the important dates 2002 and 1952. In the final quadrant at the bottom right of the coin is the latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth II EIIR and below this is her father and predecessor's name George VI. The obverse of the coin features the traditional design for Australian coinage with the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of the Queen and the legend, which surrounds the portrait and reads ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2002.
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