Publish Date: Jan. 5, 1953
Cover Story: Defender of the Faith
How TIME Covered the News: Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, captured the world’s attention during her accession to the British throne in 1952. Though a symbolic head of state, the new top royal generated quite the buzz. Emerging from the ruins of World War II, which saw many parts of Elizabeth’s realm ravaged, a little optimism and good cheer was exactly what the people needed.
“What, then, was Elizabeth’s significance? It was no more—and no less—than the significance of a fresh young blossom on roots that had weathered many a season of wintry doubt. The British, as weary and discouraged as the rest of the world in 1952, saw in their new young Queen a reminder of a great past when they had carved out empires under Elizabeth I and Victoria, and dared to hope that she might be an omen of a great future.”