Queen will spend historic anniversary in Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
The longest reigning monarch in British history will mark 67 years on the throne in private on her beloved Norfolk estate on Wednesday.
Princess Elizabeth became Queen on February 6, 1952, when her father King George VI passed away in his sleep at Sandringham, aged 56.
She traditionally spends the anniversary of her accession day in private, after spending her Christmas break in Norfolk and is expected to return to London later this week.
The then princess and her husband Philip had been staying at Sagana Lodge, in Kenya, when she was told of her father's death.
It was 2.45pm and Elizabeth was resting after spending the night at the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare Forest, watching big game.
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A message was given to Philip by his equerry and friend Mike Parker that the king was dead.
It was the duke who broke the news to his wife while they were alone, taking her into the garden to tell her.
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The couple immediately returned to Sandringham, to oversee arrangements for the king's state funeral.
The young Queen set foot on British soil for the first time as sovereign at dusk on February 7 when her plane touched down in London.
It was met by politicians including prime minister Winston Churchill and opposition leader Clement Attlee, as well as the Duke of Gloucester.
A day later, Elizabeth II was formally proclaimed Queen at a meeting of the Accession Council in St James's Palace to which all members of the Privy Council were summoned.
The Queen's coronation took place 16 months later at Westminster Abbey in June 1953.
The monarch is only three years away from her Platinum Jubilee - 70 years on the throne - which would be a first for a British sovereign.
The government is already planning a Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2022 to showcase the UK's strengths and coincide with the jubilee year.
It is not yet known how grand celebrations for the milestone jubilee would be, falling in the year the Queen turns 96.
Gun salutes by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park and the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London will be fired to mark the occasion on Wednesday, as is tradition.