LONDON - The Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne on Monday to become the second British monarch to reach that milestone.

During her reign, the royal family has faced tumultuous times and moments of plummeting popularity, above all after the death in 1997 of Princess Diana, the hugely popular ex-wife of her son and heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles.

But the royals are enjoying fresh support after the wedding last year of the queen’s grandson, Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, to Catherine Middleton.

Elizabeth II, 85, became queen aged 25 on February 6, 1952 on the death of her father George VI, while on tour in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip.

In a documentary for BBC TV to be shown on Monday, grandson Prince Harry, younger son of Charles, said how much she relied on Prince Philip. “I don’t think that she could do it without him, especially when they’re both at this age,” he said.

Ninety-year-old Prince Philip, the longest-serving consort and oldest-serving spouse of any British monarch, had surgery at Christmas to clear a blocked heart artery.

Accusations of excess and the divorces of three of the queen’s children have marred the image of the royal family, which during her reign has come under intense media scrutiny.