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The Queen's life changed forever after this royal death

The future monarch was just nine at the time

Danielle Stacey

Today was particularly poignant for the Queen as she marked the anniversary of her grandfather's death. 

It ultimately changed the course of history for the young Princess Elizabeth, who was just nine, when King George V passed away, aged 70, on 20 January 1936.

The monarch's eldest son, Prince Edward, ascended the throne after his father's death. However, Edward abdicated in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson before the year was out, triggering a constitutional crisis.

READ: The Queen sends sweet birthday message to Sophie Wessex

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WATCH: Everything you need to know about the Queen's coronation in 1953

As Edward had no children, his younger brother, Albert, (later King George VI) unexpectedly became monarch, meaning that his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was next in line to the throne.

She was never expected to become Queen and had her parents later had a son, he would have become heir presumptive.

MORE: 10 of the Queen's most trailblazing moments in her reign

MORE: The Queen is hiring a new addition to her team - and it's exciting

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Elizabeth with her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary in 1932

When King George VI's health declined, Elizabeth began taking on more responsibilities and stood in for her father at formal events.

She and her husband Prince Philip were in Kenya on their way to tour Australia and New Zealand when the news broke that her father had died at Sandringham on 6 February 1952.

The couple returned to the UK and the Queen's coronation took place the following year in 1953.

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The Queen's coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1953

She has since gone on to break several world records, including the longest-living British monarch, as well as the longest-serving head of state in world history. Her Majesty will mark the 70th year of her reign in 2022.

Traditionally, the Queen stays at Sandringham from Christmas until the anniversary of her father's death on 6 February each year. However, this year the monarch is residing at Windsor Castle as a result of lockdown restrictions.

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