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Queen Elizabeth quietly marks 70 years on the British throne******
A picture released in London on February 4, 2022, and taken last month, shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looking at Queen Victoria's Autograph fan, alongside a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees, in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle, west of London.
Queen Elizabeth marks 70 years onthe British throne on Sunday, a milestone never reached by anyof her predecessors over the last 1,000 years, and one whichonly a few monarchs across the globe have ever achieved.
Elizabeth, 95, became the queen of Britain and more than adozen other realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealandon the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952, whileshe was in Kenya on an international tour.
The news was broken to her by her husband Prince Philip, whodied last year aged 99 after more than seven decades by herside.
Elizabeth will mark "Accession Day" in private as iscustomary, not viewing it as something to celebrate. But therewill be four days of national events to mark her PlatinumJubilee in June.
"While it is a moment for national celebration, it will be aday of mixed emotions for Her Majesty as the day also marks 70years since the death of her beloved father George VI," PrimeMinister Boris Johnson told parliament on Wednesday, thankingthe monarch for "her tireless service."
Elizabeth has continued to carry out official duties wellinto her 90s, but has been little seen in public since she spenta night in hospital last October for an unspecified ailment andwas then instructed by doctors to rest.
However, Buckingham Palace on Friday released footage aheadof Sunday's landmark, showing her viewing items from previousroyal jubilees, such as a fan given to hergreat-great-grandmother Queen Victoria to mark her 50th year onthe throne in 1887, signed by family, friends and politicians.
Ironically Elizabeth was not destined to be monarch at herbirth, and only became queen because her uncle Edward VIIIabdicated to be with American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
But in 2015, she overtook Victoria as Britain'slongest-reigning sovereign in a line that traces its origin backto Norman King William I and his 1066 conquest of England.
"Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my ownis no exception," Elizabeth said in 2015, adding that the recordwas not one "to which I have ever aspired." Her son and heirPrince Charles said it was a moment other people were moreexcited about than she was.
While small in stature, she has been a towering figure in Britain for sevendecades.During that time she has overseen huge social, economic andpolitical change, including the end of the British Empire.
As the world's current oldest and longest-reigning monarch,her global presence has also been profound, and she retains analmost unrivaled mystique.
"What's telling is when heads of state meet, whether it beat the G7 or the COP conference, they want to meet the queen,"said Anna Whitelock, professor of the History of Monarchy atLondon's City University.
"They may be presidents or heads of state in their owncountry, but there is something quite magical about thisminiature woman."
Only a handful of monarchs are ever thought to have reignedfor longer than Elizabeth. King Louis XIV of France, who builtthe palace of Versailles, is considered to hold the record for asovereign state, ruling for 72 years, while Sobhuza II was kingof Swaziland for almost 83 years until his death in 1982.
While public affection for her remains strong, with aboutfour in five Britons holding a favorable view, the monarchyitself has suffered a number of recent knocks, including a USsex abuse court case against her second son Prince Andrew,raising questions about the long-term future of the institution.
"She's almost beyond criticism, I think," said ProfessorVernon Bogdanor, an expert in British constitutional history.
"It's not that she's never put a foot wrong, it's morepositive than that. She somehow instinctively understands whatyou might call the soul of the British people."
Qatar World Cup unveils Countdown Clock with one year to go******
Doha, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The 2022 Qatar World Cup marked one year to go to the big kick-off of the soccer extravaganza as it unveiled the official Countdown Clock at Doha's Corniche Fishing spot on Sunday.。
The curves of the Countdown Clock were inspired by the unbroken loop of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 emblem and the ancient timekeeping tool of the hourglass, both reflecting the interconnected nature of the event. The structure is designed to be seen from any angle and reflect the view of the city skyline behind it.。
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: "I've been involved in the organization of sports events for the past few decades, I've never witnessed anything like what is happening here. Everything is ready, the venues will be fantastic. The experience for the fans will be great.。
"The world will discover a country and a whole region. Qatar, the Gulf region, the Middle East, the Arab world. A place where people meet and come together. This is what football is all about, this is about what this part of the world and its culture is all about, and the world will realize that."
Speaking at the event, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: "We are thrilled to unveil the Official Countdown Clock on the same day we come together to celebrate the one year to go milestone."
"The unveiling of the Countdown Clock is a special moment for Qatar as a host country, as we enter the final straight on the way to delivering a transformative tournament with a lasting legacy - the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world," he added.。
The Qatar World Cup will take place from November 21 to December 18 in eight stadiums across Qatar and the main contractor works on Lusail Stadium, the 80,000-capacity venue for next year's final have been completed. Enditem。
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