Why today is a bittersweet day for the Queen

Her Majesty is marking a poignant time in her life

February 6 is a particularly bittersweet and difficult day for the Queen – it marks the anniversary of her accession to the throne, which in 2019 makes her reign an incredible 67 years long. And while it's a remarkable achievement, Her Majesty is of course also remembering her father on the anniversary of his death, choosing to do so privately in Sandringham as she does every year. As ever, she is expected to return to work in London in the coming days.

Her Majesty was officially crowned on 2 June 1952

Princess Elizabeth became Queen on February 6 1952, on the death of her beloved father George VI. She was just 25 and thousands of miles from home on a Commonwealth tour with Prince Philip in Kenya, when the King died in his sleep from lung cancer at Sandringham House. Now the nation's longest reigning monarch, Elizabeth II has ruled for 24,472 days, has passed her silver, golden, diamond and sapphire jubilees, and is now just three years away from her platinum 70 years on the throne.

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On Wednesday, gun salutes will be fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park and the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London to commemorate the occasion. The bells of Westminster Abbey, the Gothic church where the Queen was married and crowned, will also ring out to mark Accession Day.

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While the Queen has been having some time off during her annual winter break, she has - as usual - been seen on a number of occasions attending church in Sandringham. On Sunday, ahead of her big milestone, she stepped out in a cheerful peach outfit for the service, also stopping to accept a bundle of daffodils and a bouquet of pink and white flowers from well-wishers.

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