Following the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952, Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This year, all of Britain is celebrating a rare milestone in British history: the Queen's Golden Jubilee marking fifty years of her reign.
The official site of the British monarchy is my pick of the day because of its depth. Whether you want info on the Queen's Jubilee, biographies of the royal family, history of the monarchy or a peek at their art and residences, you'll find it all here. This entry page take you to the kids' section which includes a fact file about the Queen (she owns twelve dogs) and her heirs, and an ABC glossary of royal vocabulary. To explore the rest of the site, use the menu displayed horizontally across the top of any page.
For royal history buffs, this chronology of blue-blooded biographies starts with King Egbert, crowned in 802 (the "first West Saxon king to exercise authority over most of England") and continues to Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. The site has a very useful search function (so you don't need to scroll chronologically to find a particular royal), chapters on Palaces, Cathedrals and Castles, and a fun Facts section where I learned that Henry VI was the youngest king in British history. He was crowned in 1422 at an age of 8 months and 25 days.
Need to memorize the order of the English royals? Try this mnemonic ditty that starts with William the Conqueror: "Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee. Harry, Dick, John, Harry three." You'll find the rest on the Monarchs front page at Brittania.com ("America's travel gateway to the British Isles.") Other gems include a brief British history (thousands of years condensed into eight chapters), a guide to royal titles and honors, and many biographies.
Princess Diana captured the world's heart as no other princess before her. This special report covers her life and legacy with archived articles from Time Magazine. Best clicks are the Photo Essay, TIME on the Life of Diana (from the September 15, 1997 issue) and the Reading Room of illustrated features dating back to 1983.
The Public Record Office is the national archive of England, Wales and the United Kingdom, preserving records that span from the eleventh century to the present. Their Virtual Museum offers just a glimpse of their holdings, including this eclectic eight-item Kings & Queens gallery. My favorite click is Edward VIII's letter of abdication dated December 10, 1936. He is the only British monarch to have abdicated voluntarily, which he did in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. The exhibit is also available as a printable PDF (look for the "P" book icon in the upper right hand corner.)