Four days of celebrations honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne are getting underway. Formal celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee begin on Thursday with Trooping the Color, a review of British military traditions.
The queen is expected to join members of her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of the event as 70 planes fly overhead. The 96-year-old Elizabeth is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to serve for seven decades.
During a four-day holiday weekend, neighborhood organizations are expected to hold street parties around the country. The jubilee is giving people a chance to reflect on the huge changes that have taken place during the queen's reign.
During Elizabeth's tenure as queen, there have been seven popes, 14 U.S. presidents and 13 British prime ministers. Also at age 96, she is the oldest ever to serve as Britain's monarch.
Elizabeth is considered the head of state for a commonwealth of 15 nations. Her role as head of state for nations like Canada and New Zealand, however, is largely ceremonial.