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Why the Queen does not celebrate the anniversary of her accession to the throne

The Queen ascended the throne following the death of her beloved father, King George VI

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Tuesday 6 February is a momentous landmark for the Queen, as the monarch will mark the 66th anniversary of her accession to the throne. However, the date is not celebrated by the royal as it is also the anniversary of her beloved father's death. King George VI passed away in 1952 aged just 56, leading his daughter, Elizabeth, to ascend to the throne aged 25. As such, the Queen doesn't hold any public celebration, but instead spends the day in private without any official engagements.

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King George VI with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret 

The King, who ascended to the throne himself following the abdication of his elder brother, Edward, passed away from a coronary thrombosis in his sleep while the young Princess Elizabeth was on tour in Kenya with her husband, Philip Mountbatten, who broke the sad news to her. Commander Michael Parker, who was with the couple at the time, recalled: "[Philip] looked as if you'd dropped half the world on him. He took [The Queen] up to the garden and they walked up and down the lawn while he talked and talked and talked to her. She was sitting erect, fully accepting her destiny. I asked her what name she would take, 'My own, of course.'"

READ: Inside the Queen's garden at Buckingham Palace

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Queen Elizabeth on her Coronation day 

The Queen arrived home and addressed privy councillors and representatives from the City of London and the Commonwealth at an Accession council in St James's Palace. In her speech, she said: "By the sudden death of my dear father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty. My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over."

READ: The one food the royal family should never eat

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The Queen and Prince Philip on the day of her Coronation

The Queen recently opened up about her father in a BBC documentary about the crown jewels. Speaking to royal commentator Alastair Bruce about her ascension to the throne and subsequent coronation, at the age of 25, she explained: "I've seen one coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable." She also spoke about the Imperial State Crown, which was made for her father's coronation in 1937, and explained: "Fortunately, my father and I have about the same sort of shaped head. But once you put it on, it stays. I mean, it just remains on."