Queen will spend historic anniversary in Norfolk

Happy days - the Queen, left, pictured at Sandringham with her parents and sister Margaret in 1947

Happy days - the Queen, left, pictured at Sandringham with her parents and sister Margaret in 1947 - 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.

Sandringham House, the Royal Family's Norfolk retreat Picture: Ian Burt

Sandringham House, the Royal Family's Norfolk retreat Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

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.

Elizabeth II flies into London following the death of her father, on her way to Sandringham to super

Elizabeth II flies into London following the death of her father, on her way to Sandringham to supervise arrangements Picture: Archant - Credit: PA


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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.

The Queen iss expected to leave Norfolk later this week Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Queen iss expected to leave Norfolk later this week Picture: Matthew Usher.

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 Queen meets the crowd at West Newton Church on Sunday Picture: Denise Bradley

The Queen meets the crowd at West Newton Church on Sunday Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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.

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret pictured at Sandringham during

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret pictured at Sandringham during World War II Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

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