Queen spends Accession Day in private on her estate at Sandringham in Norfolk

Queen Elizabeth II receives flowers from Jessica Atfield, 3, after a church service at West Newton i

Queen Elizabeth II receives flowers from Jessica Atfield, 3, after a church service at West Newton in Norfolk. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Elizabeth II makes history today when she becomes the first British monarch to reach their Sapphire Jubilee.

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

On the anniversary of the day she first became Queen, she will have reigned for 65 years. But there are no grand festivities planned to mark the head-of-state's latest in a long line of milestones.

Buckingham Palace said only that the Sovereign planned to spend today in private at Sandringham, where her reign began after her father, King George VI, passed away in his sleep.

The Duke of Edinburgh arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Duke of Edinburgh arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Yesterday well wishers waited in the fog to greet her at West Newton Church, on the Sandringham Estate, near King's Lynn. She arrived by Bentley with the Duke of Edinburgh just before the start of the 11am Sunday service.

Wearing a matching turquoise coat and hat, the Queen was met by the Rector of Sandringham, Canon Jonathan Riviere, at the gateway to the carrstone church, before walking up the path to the service.

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt


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The Queen spoke to members of the 200-strong crowd, who gave her cards and presents after the service.

Veteran Royal watcher Mary Relph handed the Queen two red roses and said: 'It's been lovely having you here Your Majesty.'

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

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The Queen replied that she would shortly be returning to London.

Afterwards, Mrs Relph, 83, from Shouldham, added; 'I think she's done marvellous.'

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Fellow Royal fan Alan Mowton from Fosdyke near Boston, Lincs, was another who had travelled to see the Queen on the eve of the 65th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

'It's a remarkable achievement, 65 years will probably never be repeated,' he said. 'She's served us well in that time.'

Police officers searching the area outside West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

Police officers searching the area outside West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Dawn Smith, 53, from Newmarket, said: 'She's amazing, she really is amazing. She never falters.'

After the service, the Queen presented prizes to 22 children from the Sandringham Group Sunday School, who had performed the play Jonah and the Whale during the church service.

Police officers searching the area outside West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

Police officers searching the area outside West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

In 2015, when she thanked the nation for its kind messages after overtaking Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she said the royal record was 'not one to which I have ever aspired'.

The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday last year and had a busy schedule commemorating the occasion, which included a walkabout, a beacon lighting and a black tie dinner for family and friends in Windsor Castle on her actual birthday.

The Queen was greeted by well wishers after morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen was greeted by well wishers after morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A weekend of national celebrations, including a party on The Mall, was held for her official birthday in June.

It is likely that any large-scale jubilee celebrations will be reserved for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022 - although any events will take into account the fact that Queen is due to turn 96 that year.

The Duke of Cambridge is about to become a full-time royal this summer and will increase his official duties on behalf of the Queen. William and the Duchess of Cambridge are carrying out an engagement on Monday February 6, but it is not to do with the Queen's record-breaking reign.

They will be attending Place2Be's Big Assembly at a primary school in north London to mark Children's Mental Health Week.

She usually spends Accession Day at Sandringham, having stayed in Norfolk over Christmas, making her return to Buckingham Palace a few days later.

Royal gun salutes will be staged in London on February 6, as is the time-honoured tradition on Royal occasions.

A 41-gun salute will be fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park at noon.

The Band of the Royal Artillery will play a selection of celebratory music close to the firing position, and 89 horses will pull six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into position in the park.

A 62-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company will also be fired at the Tower of London, at 1pm.

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