Queen Elizabeth II began her reign in 1952. Hers was the first televised coronation in the history of the monarchy. During her tenure, the queen witnessed the conclusion of the empire's retreat into a commonwealth, the Suez Canal crisis, a handful of wars and skirmishes, and the London Olympic Games – not to mention the scandals surrounding the separation and divorce of her son Prince Charles and Princess Diana. And when Diana was killed in a car crash in September 1997, the Queen was seen as aloof and withdrawn from the mass outpouring of grief among her subjects. She is the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning United Kingdom monarch and the second-longest-serving head of state in the world.