Hurricane Topical Guide
A revived Hurricane Ian set its sights on South Carolina's coast and the historic city of Charleston on Friday, Sept. 30. The National Hurricane Center predicted a “life-threatening storm surge” and floods along the Carolina coastal area later Friday, after the megastorm caused catastrophic damage in Florida and left people trapped in their homes.
Ian had come ashore Wednesday on Florida's Gulf Coast as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. It flooded homes on both the state's coasts, cut off the only road access to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses.
Before making its way through the Gulf of Mexico to Florida, Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday, killing three people and bringing down the country’s electrical grid.
The Associated Press compiled a style guide of essential words, phrases and definitions related to the storm. Terms are from the AP Stylebook and usage in AP stories.
This guide will be updated periodically.
Tampa Bay vulnerability
Ian made landfall more than 100 miles south of Tampa and St. Petersburg, sparing the densely populated Tampa Bay area from its first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921. But officials said the area could still experience powerful winds and up to 20 inches of rain.
Many of the area’s more than 3 million residents live in low-lying neighborhoods that are highly susceptible to storm surge and flooding, which some experts say could be worsened by the effects of climate change.
A report from the Boston-based catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark and Co. concluded in 2015 that Tampa Bay is the most vulnerable place in the U.S. to storm surge flooding from a hurricane and stands to lose $175 billion in damage. A World Bank study a few years before that placed Tampa as the seventh-most vulnerable city to major storms on the entire globe.
The last time Tampa Bay was hit by a major storm was Oct. 25, 1921. The hurricane had no official name but is known locally as the Tarpon Springs storm, for the seaside town famed for its sponge-diving docks and Greek heritage where it came ashore.
The storm surge from that hurricane, estimated at Category 3 with winds of up to 129 mph was pegged at 11 feet. At least eight people died.
hurricane or typhoon
A warm-core tropical cyclone in which the minimum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more. Hurricanes and typhoons are subsets of tropical cyclones. All hurricanes and typhoons are considered tropical cyclones.
Hurricanes are spawned east of the international date line. Typhoons develop west of the line. They are known as cyclones in the Indian Ocean and Australia.
When a hurricane or typhoon loses strength (wind speed), usually after landfall, it is reduced to tropical storm status.
Capitalize hurricane when it is part of the name that weather forecasters assign to a storm: Hurricane Dorian, Hurricane Michael.
Use it and its in pronoun references.
Once storms lose strength and are downgraded to tropical storm or tropical depression status, it may be clearer to simply use the storm's name on first reference: Officials released more water Monday from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey.
Give the storm's current status and history high in the story: Harvey came ashore as a major hurricane and has been downgraded to a tropical storm. After a storm is downgraded, phrasing such as storm Michael or the remnants of Hurricane Maria is also acceptable on first reference, with background later. In broad references to a hurricane and its aftermath: The damage and economic impact from Hurricane Harvey is substantial or the damage and economic impact from Irma is substantial.
Hurricanes are ranked 1 to 5 according to what is known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Categories 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes are considered major hurricanes.
Category 1 — Winds of 74-95 mph (120-150 kph). Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs and piers. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
Category 2 — Winds of 96-110 mph (155-175 kph). Some roof, door and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to mobile homes, small watercraft, trees, poorly constructed signs and piers. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
Category 3 — Winds of 111-129 mph (180-210 kph). Some structural damage to small homes. Mobile homes destroyed and large trees blown down. Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, was a Category 3 at landfall in 2005 after being a Category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Category 4 — Winds of 130-156 mph (210-250 kph). Wall failures and roof collapses on small homes, and extensive damage to doors and windows. Complete destruction of some homes, especially mobile homes. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Category 5 — Winds greater than 157 mph (250 kph). Complete roof failure on many homes and industrial buildings. Smaller buildings and mobile homes blown over or completely blown away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet (4.5 meters) above sea level and within 500 yards (460 meters) of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 kilometers) inland may be required.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm at landfall in 2005, was the costliest U.S. storm on record with damage estimated at $186 billion when adjusted for inflation into 2022 dollars.
Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was second with $149 billion in damage, adjusted for inflation. Hurricane Maria (2017, $107 billion) ranks third, Hurricane Sandy (2012, $82 billion) ranks fourth, and Hurricane Ida (2021, $79 billion) ranks fifth.
Note: When comparing costs of disasters it's important to adjust for inflation in order to make a proper comparison between disasters that happened years ago and modern-day events. See https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/dcmi.pdf
back-to-back huge hurricanes
More than one major hurricane hitting the U.S. in a season is unusual. That happened in 2017, with back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes Harvey and Irma, followed shortly thereafter by Maria, which was Category 5 when it struck Puerto Rico.
Harvey made landfall Aug. 25, 2017, as a Category 4 storm about 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, then lingered just off the Gulf Coast. Harvey dropped 52 inches of rain in the Houston area as a hurricane and then tropical storm, causing catastrophic flooding and an estimated $125 billion in damage.
The Category 5 Hurricane Irma was the most potent Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever, with winds 185 mph. Irma was still a Category 5 when it raked Cuba's coast, then a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds when it slammed into Florida's Cudjoe Key on Sept. 10.
The names of tropical cyclones are decided by the World Meteorological Organization and are recycled every six years. If more than 21 named tropical cyclones occur in one basin in a season, any additional storms will be named for Greek letters. The names of storms deemed to have caused extraordinary damage are retired from the list. When referring to two hurricanes: hurricanes Maria and Dorian.
The portion of the year that has a relatively high incidence of hurricanes. In the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, this is from June through November. In the eastern Pacific, it is May 15 through Nov. 30. In the central Pacific, it is June 1 through Nov. 30.
An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/hr) or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical or post-tropical cyclone. The warning is issued 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected to arrive.
An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph (119 km/hr) or higher are possible within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical or post-tropical cyclone. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the expected onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 38 mph (33 knots) or less.
A warm-core tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface winds range from 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots) inclusive. Capitalize tropical storm when it is part of the name that weather forecasters assign to a storm: Tropical Storm Allison. Do not abbreviate to TS.
OTHER TERMS AND BACKGROUND:
cancel, canceled, canceling, cancellation
Lowercase when referring to the physical shoreline: Atlantic coast, Pacific coast, east coast. Capitalize when referring to regions of the United States lying along such shorelines: the Atlantic Coast states, a Gulf Coast city, the West Coast, the East Coast. Do not capitalize when referring to smaller regions: the Virginia coast. Capitalize the Coast when standing alone only if the reference is to the West Coast.
Damage is destruction: The storm is expected to cause billions of dollars' worth of damage.
Damages are awarded by a court as compensation for injury, loss, etc.: The woman received $25,000 in damages.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA is acceptable on second reference. The FEMA administrator is Deanne Criswell.
forecast (n., v.)
Use forecast, not forecasted, for the past tense.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center rely on dozens of computer simulations and their own expert experience. They use real-time readings of wind, temperature, air pressure, humidity and more. But those real-time readings are sparse and spread out.
Figuring out a storm's path and strength is tricky and usually forecasts do not go out longer than five days.
Stories about floods usually tell how high the water is and where it is expected to crest. Such a story should also, for comparison, list flood stage and how high the water is above, or below, flood stage. Wrong: The river is expected to crest at 39 feet. Right: The river is expected to crest at 39 feet, 12 feet above flood stage.
But uppercase when used in a title: Good Samaritan Hospital.
A historic event is an important occurrence, one that stands out in history. Any occurrence in the past is a historical event.
The late August 2005 hurricane was the deadliest storm to strike the U.S. since 1928 with a death toll that far outweighs any other storm during the modern era of weather forecasting. As of 2022, it was also the costliest storm on record to strike the United States with an inflation-adjusted cost of $186 billion in 2022 dollars. Levee failure played a large part in the destruction in New Orleans, while storm surge was a key factor elsewhere.
There have been varying estimates on how many people died, in large part owing to the high number of dead and the chaotic aftermath in which residents were dispersed across the country. The National Hurricane Center's most recent data from from a 2017 report puts the total number of dead across five states at around 1,400 people. The vast majority of the deaths occurred in New Orleans and its suburbs. (This September 2022 figure updates the previous figure of 1,800 used in the Stylebook.)
Katrina formed in the Bahamas and made landfall in southeastern Florida before heading west into the Gulf of Mexico where it reached Category 5 strength in open water before weakening to a Category 3 at landfall in southeastern Louisiana. As it headed north it made another landfall along the Mississippi coast. Katrina caused damage from southeast Louisiana eastward to the Florida panhandle.
The storm is often remembered for the tens of thousands of New Orleans-area residents stranded in floodwaters or in sweltering heat at the Superdome and convention center, and the much-criticized government efforts to help them.
About 134,000 housing units were damaged in the city, according to The Data Center, a nonprofit research agency in New Orleans. And the population, estimated at over 494,000 by the U.S. Census Bureau in July 2005, never fully recovered. It stood at just under 377,000 in July 2021.
When writing about the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, it is important to note that levee failures played a major role in the devastation in New Orleans. In some stories, that can be as simple as including a phrase about Hurricane Katrina's catastrophic levee failures and flooding. Some stories may require more detail.
Some basics: In New Orleans, flaws in the design and construction of the federally built levee system led to multiple levee breaches and catastrophic flooding. Water covered 80% of the city at one point and took weeks to drain.
Storm surge was a key factor in the devastation in other areas. Along the Mississippi coast surge as high as 28 feet in some areas wiped out coastal homes and businesses.
Capitalize when referring to U.S. or state-level forces: the National Guard, the Texas National Guard, Texas' National Guard. On second reference, the guard.
When referring to an individual in a National Guard unit, use National Guardsman: He is a National Guardsman.
Lowercase guardsman when it stands alone.
National Hurricane Center
The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center in Miami has overall responsibility for tracking and providing information about tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean. The acting director is Jamie Rhome. On second reference, the center or the hurricane center.
National Weather Service
The director is Ken Graham. On second reference, the NWS or the weather service.
It is measured in inches; use numerals in all references except when beginning a sentence. The verb should conform with rain, not inches: Forecasters said 30 inches of rain is expected to fall.
British Royal Family Topical Guide
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Sept. 8 at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland.
A link to the almost-vanished generation that fought World War II, she was the only monarch most Britons have ever known, and her name defines an age: the modern Elizabethan Era.
With the death of the queen, her son Charles automatically becomes monarch, even though the coronation might not take place for months. He is now King Charles III.
Elizabeth’s death came a day after she canceled a virtual meeting of her Privy Council when doctors advised her to rest following a full day of events the previous day, when she formally asked Liz Truss to become Britain's prime minister.
To help with coverage, here is a style guide based on the AP Stylebook and common usage in AP stories:
Queen Elizabeth's reign
Elizabeth, then 25, became queen on Feb. 6, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI. Her formal coronation took place on June 2, 1953, in Westminster Abbey, but her reign began the moment her father died.
She was Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach seven decades on the throne before her death at age 96.
The line of succession
Charles automatically became monarch upon Elizabeth’s death, even though the coronation might not take place for months. King Charles III is married to Camilla, who will be known as queen consort.
He is followed in the line of succession by:
1. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the eldest son of Charles and the late Princess Diana. The next three places are held by William's children, in order of their birth:
- 2. Prince George of Cambridge, born in July 2013.
- 3. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, born in May 2015.
- 4. Prince Louis of Cambridge, born in April 2018.
5. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the younger son of Charles and Diana. The next two places are held by Harry's children, in order of their birth:
- 6. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, born in May 2019.
- 7. Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, born in June 2021
8. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband, Prince Philip.
9. Princess Beatrice, elder daughter of Andrew and his former wife, Sarah Ferguson. Beatrice is married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. She is followed in the line of succession by her daughter:
- 10. Sienna Mapelli Mozzi
11: Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Eugenie is married to Jack Brooksbank. She is followed in the line of succession by her son:
- 12. August Brooksbank
13. Prince Edward, the queen and Philip’s youngest child. He is followed by his children:
- 14. James, Viscount Severn, the younger child of Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
- 15. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Edward and Sophie’s daughter.
The leather strap for controlling a horse is a rein, hence figuratively: seize the reins, give free rein to.
Reign is the period a ruler is on the throne: The king began his reign.
The name for the worldwide association of national Anglican churches. Each national church is independent. A special position of honor is accorded to the archbishop of Canterbury, as the preeminent officer in the original Anglican body, the Church of England.
The test of membership in the Anglican Communion traditionally has been whether a church has been in communion with the See of Canterbury. No legislative or juridical ties exist, however.
Anglicans have traditionally considered themselves Catholic, but not Roman Catholic, because they believe they are part of the universal church with their bishops in direct succession from the original apostles. A principal difference between Roman Catholics and Anglicans is still the dispute that led to the formation of the Church of England — refusal to acknowledge that the pope, as bishop of Rome, has ruling authority over other bishops.
ANGLICAN CHURCHES: The term refers to churches in the tradition of the Church of England, which formed in a split with the papacy during the Protestant Reformation. Traditionally it referred to members of the Anglican Communion, in addition to the Church of England, including the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and numerous branches in other countries. Some traditionalists left the U.S. and Canadian denominations to form the Anglican Church in North America. Although not recognized by the Anglican Communion, the denomination describes itself as Anglican and is on friendly terms with many national churches that are part of the Anglican Communion.
Queen Elizabeth II: The longest-reigning monarch in British history, she was also head of the Commonwealth and the Church of England. Queen Elizabeth II on first reference, Elizabeth or the queen on subsequent references.
Prince Philip: The queen's late husband, who died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021. They married in 1947. On first reference: Prince Philip. On second reference, Philip is acceptable. Stories may note that he also was known as the Duke of Edinburgh.
King Charles III: Before becoming monarch, then-Prince Charles was also known as the Prince of Wales. He is 73. His first wife was the late Princess Diana, mother of Princes William and Harry.
Camilla, queen consort: Charles' second wife. They married in 2005 at Windsor Guildhall (not on the castle grounds). She is 75.
Prince William: The elder son of Charles and Diana. William, 39, is now first in line of succession to the throne. He is also known as the Duke of Cambridge. William served in the military and worked as a helicopter rescue pilot before concentrating full time on his royal duties.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge: The former Kate Middleton is William's wife. They have three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. In stories, AP often refers to Prince William and his wife, Kate. She is 40.
Prince Harry: Harry is the younger son of Charles and Diana. He served in the military for a decade before taking up royal duties. He is 37 and is also known as the Duke of Sussex.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex: The former American actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry at Windsor Castle in 2018. In 2020 the couple quit as working senior royals and moved to the United States, where they have a charitable foundation. Meghan is 40. The couple have two children, Archie and Lilibet.
Additional style points
royal family, royals
The monarch heads Britain's royal family. The term royals is acceptable on any reference. The royal household is a broader term encompassing the family along with palace officials and staff.
The queen's summer residence in Scotland.
The official residence of British monarchs. It is in central London. On second reference: the palace. Queen Elizabeth II used the palace for official duties, but she often preferred to spend time at Windsor Castle, which gave her more privacy, or her other residences. Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the sovereign since 1837. It has 775 rooms and extensive gardens.
Acceptable on all references to the British Broadcasting Corp.
A grouping of 53 independent nations formerly known as the British Commonwealth. Most are former colonies of the British Empire. The queen was head of the Commonwealth, and she was still head of state of the UK and 14 member nations, known as Commonwealth Realms. Commonwealth leaders have agreed that Charles should head the Commonwealth after his mother’s death.
the United Kingdom
The nation consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The abbreviation U.K. is acceptable as a noun or adjective. Use UK (no periods) in headlines.
the national flag
The national flag is called the Union Jack or the Union Flag. Some maintain the term Union Jack should only be used when the flag is on a naval vessel.
References to members of the nobility in nations that have a system of rank present special problems because nobles frequently are known by their titles rather than their given or family names. Their titles, in effect, become their names. Generally follow a person's preference, unless the person is widely known in another way.
The guidelines below relate to Britain's nobility. Adapt them as appropriate to members of nobility in other nations.
Orders of rank among British nobility begin with the royal family. The term royalty is reserved for the families of living and deceased sovereigns.
Next, in descending order, are dukes, marquesses or marquises, earls, viscounts and barons. There are also life peers who are appointed to the House of Lords and hold their titles only for their lifetimes. On first reference to a life peer, use the person's ordinary name, e.g., Margaret Thatcher or Jeffrey Archer. Elsewhere, if relevant, explain that the person has been appointed to the House of Lords.
Occasionally the sovereign raises an individual to the nobility and makes the title inheritable by the person's heirs, but the practice is rare. Sovereigns also confer honorary titles, which do not make an individual a member of the nobility. The principal designations are baronet and knight.
In general, the guidelines in titles apply. However, honorary titles and titles of nobility are capitalized when they serve as an alternate name such as the Prince of Wales.
Some guidelines and examples:
ROYALTY: Capitalize king, queen, prince and princess when they are used directly before one or more names; lowercase when they stand alone.
Queen Elizabeth II. Also: the queen or Elizabeth on second reference. Capitalize a longer form of the sovereign's title when its use is appropriate or in a quote: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth; His Majesty King Charles III.
Use Prince or Princess before the names of a sovereign's children: Princess Anne, Prince Charles.
In references to the late queen's husband the first reference should be Prince Philip. On second reference: Philip.
The male heir to the throne normally is designated Prince of Wales, and the title becomes an alternate name. Capitalize when used: The queen invested her eldest son as Prince of Wales.
DUKE: The full title — Duke of York, for example — is an alternate name, capitalized in all uses. Lowercase duke when it stands alone.
The wife of a duke is a duchess: the Duchess of Kent, the duchess, but never Duchess Katherine or Lady Katherine.
A duke normally also has a lesser title. It is commonly used for his eldest son if he has one. Use the courtesy titles Lord or Lady before the first names of a duke or earl's children. On second reference, the children's given name would be used alone.
MARQUESS, MARQUIS, EARL, VISCOUNT, BARON: The full titles serve as alternate names and should be capitalized. In general, use the name the person goes by. Use Lady before the name of a woman married to a man who holds one of these titles, and use Lady before the first name of an earl's daughter.
BARONET, KNIGHT: Sir John Smith on first reference and Smith on second. These are very common titles, and rarely are used in news copy. Do not use both an honorary title and a title of military rank or authority, such as prime minister, before a name.
Honorary titles for celebrities need not be used in every case. Dame Maggie Smith is correct, but Maggie Smith is preferred when writing about the actress. Sir Paul McCartney is correct, but Paul McCartney is preferred when writing about the former Beatle.
The British monarchy's rules state that "a new sovereign succeeds to the throne as soon as his or her predecessor dies."
That means Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son, Prince Charles, became king immediately upon her death.
However, it may be months or even longer before Charles' formal coronation. In Elizabeth's case, her coronation came on June 2, 1953 -- 16 months after her accession on Feb. 6, 1952, when her father, King George VI, died.
A look at the formalities that take place after Charles accedes to the throne:
— Within 24 hours of a monarch's death, a new sovereign is proclaimed formally as soon as possible at St. James's Palace in London by the "Accession Council." This is made up of officials from the Privy Council, which includes senior Cabinet ministers, judges and leaders of the Church of England, who are summoned to the palace for the meeting.
— Parliament is then recalled for lawmakers to take their oaths of allegiance to the new monarch.
— The new monarch will swear an oath before the Privy Council in St. James's Palace to maintain the Church of Scotland, according to the Act of Union of 1707.
— The proclamation of the new sovereign is then publicly read out at St. James's Palace, as well as in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – the capital cities of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom.
— Charles must declare to Parliament on the first day of its session following the accession, or at the coronation, whichever is first, that he is a faithful Protestant. The oath is mandated by the Accession Declaration Act of 1910.
— He must also take a coronation oath as prescribed by the Coronation Oath Act of 1689, the Act of Settlement of 1701 and the Accession Declaration Act.
— He must be in communion with the Church of England, a flexible rule which allowed King George I and King George II to reign even though they were Lutherans.
Key Milestones in Elizabeth’s Life
— April 21, 1926: Born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in Mayfair, London, the first child of the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later called the Queen Mother.
— Dec. 10, 1936: Elizabeth becomes heir-apparent to the throne after her uncle King Edward VIII abdicates and her father becomes king.
— Oct. 13, 1940: Elizabeth makes first public speech at age 14 on the BBC Children’s Hour to reassure children who had been separated from their parents during the Blitz.
— 1945: Elizabeth is made a Subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, serving for Britain during World War II.
— Nov. 20, 1947: Elizabeth marries Prince Philip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark at Westminster Abbey.
— Nov. 14, 1948: Prince Charles is born.
— Aug. 15, 1950: Elizabeth’s second child and only daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal, is born.
— Feb. 6, 1952: Elizabeth becomes queen upon the death of her father George VI.
— June 2, 1953: Crowned in a grand coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. She sets out on a tour of the Commonwealth, visiting places including Bermuda, Fiji, Tonga, Australia, and Gibraltar.
— Feb. 19, 1960: Elizabeth’s third child, Prince Andrew, is born.
— March 10, 1964: Elizabeth’s fourth child, Prince Edward, is born.
— May 1965: Elizabeth makes a historic visit to West Germany, the first German visit by a British monarch in 52 years.
— 1977: Elizabeth celebrates her Silver Jubilee, which marks 25 years on the throne.
— 1992: Elizabeth has what she describes as an “annus horribilis,” or a “horrible year.” The year sees marriages for three of her four children end. Also that year, a fire damages Windsor Castle. Public outcry over the cost of repairs amid a recession prompts the queen to volunteer to pay income taxes.
— Aug. 31, 1997: Princess Diana dies in a car crash in Paris. Under public pressure to demonstrate her grief, Elizabeth makes an unprecedented television broadcast in tribute to Diana’s memory.
— 2002: Elizabeth marks 50 years of reign with her Golden Jubilee. The year also sees the deaths of Elizabeth’s mother and her sister, Margaret.
— Dec. 20, 2007: Elizabeth becomes the longest-living British monarch, overtaking Victoria.
— May 2011: Elizabeth makes a historic visit to Ireland — the first visit by a British monarch since Irish independence.
— 2012: Elizabeth marks 60 years of her reign with a Diamond Jubilee.
— Sept. 9, 2015: Elizabeth surpasses Queen Victoria and becomes the longest-serving monarch in British history.
— June 11, 2016: Britain celebrates Elizabeth’s official 90th birthday with three days of national festivities.
— Feb. 6, 2017: Elizabeth becomes the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, marking 65 years on the throne.
— March 2020: Elizabeth and Philip move from Buckingham Palace in London to Windsor Castle at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
— April 9, 2021: Prince Philip, Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years, dies at age 99.
— Oct. 20, 2021: Elizabeth spends a night in a London hospital undergoing health tests. She cancels major engagements in subsequent months, on doctors’ orders to only undertake light duties.
— Feb. 6, 2022: Elizabeth becomes first British monarch to reach a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years as sovereign.
— June 2022: Elizabeth makes limited public appearances during a four-day holiday weekend celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.
— Sept. 6, 2022: Elizabeth meets Boris Johnson and Liz Truss at her summer holiday home in Scotland to oversee the handover of power from the outgoing prime minster to his successor. The ceremonies, traditionally held at Buckingham Palace in London, were moved to Balmoral for the first time in the queen’s reign in light of her mobility problems.
— Sept. 8, 2022: Elizabeth dies at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at age 96.
Key Milestones in Charles’ Life
— Nov. 14, 1948 _ Born on the royal estate at Sandringham, first child of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
— Feb. 6, 1952 _ Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth II on the death of her father, King George VI.
— July 1, 1969 _ Formally invested as Prince of Wales.
— July 29, 1981 _ Marries Lady Diana Spencer; becomes first royal heir since 1660 to marry an English woman.
— June 21, 1982 _ Birth of first son, William Arthur Philip Louis.
— Sept. 15, 1984 _ Birth of second son, Harry (Henry Charles Albert David).
— June 15, 1992 _ Andrew Morton’s book “Diana: Her True Story” says Charles has had a long-term affair with a married woman, Camilla Parker Bowles.
— Dec. 9, 1992 _ He separates from Princess Diana.
— Aug. 28, 1996 _ Charles and Diana divorce.
— Aug. 31, 1997 _ Diana is killed in Paris automobile accident.
— Feb. 10, 2004 _ Charles announces his engagement to marry Camilla Parker Bowles.
— April 8, 2005 _ He marries Camilla in a civil ceremony; she takes title of Duchess of Cornwall.
— April 29, 2011 _ His son, Prince William, is married to Kate Middleton.
— Dec. 2011 _ Hospitalized for treatment for a blocked coronary artery.
— June 2013 _ Admitted to the hospital for exploratory operation on his abdomen.
— July 22, 2013 _ Becomes grandfather for the first time with the birth of Prince George, William and Kate's oldest child. Two more children — Charlotte and Louis — follow for the couple.
— May 19, 2018 _ His second son, Harry, marries American Meghan Markle.
— April 9, 2021 _ His father, Prince Philip, dies at 99.
— May 10, 2022 _ Charles stands in for Queen Elizabeth II for the first time during the state opening of Parliament, after she had to pull out of the event, citing mobility problems. The delegation of the role, one of the queen's most important duties, was seen by many as the clearest sign that a transition of the monarchy was underway.
— Sept. 8, 2022 _ Becomes king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.