Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history after she took over the throne in 1952. The date of her accession, February 6, 2019, will mark the monarch’s 67 years as the Queen of England. But why won’t she celebrate the big milestone today?
Will the Queen celebrate her accession today?
The Queen will not be celebrating her accession today because, as well as marking her reign, February 6 is also the date she lost her beloved father King George VI.
King George VI passed away in 1952 aged just 56 – leaving then-Princess Elizabeth to ascend to the throne at the young age of 25.
Because of this, the Queen doesn’t hold any public celebration.
Queen accession: Queen Elizabeth II lost her father on February 6, 67 years ago (Image: GETTY)
King George VI with his daughter, Elizabeth II, in 1946 (Image: GETTY)
Britain longest-reigning monarch will instead be spending the 67th anniversary at Sandringham in Norfolk, where she has been staying during her annual winter break.
King George VI died following a coronary thrombosis in his sleep after previously suffering from lung cancer.
At the time of his death, Princess Elizabeth was on tour in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip, who was the one who broke the tragic news to her.
Commander Michael Parker, who was with the couple at the time, has later said: “Philip looked as if you’d dropped half the world on him.
Queen accession: Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth II in Kenya in 1952 (Image: GETTY)
“He took The Queen up to the garden and they walked up and down the lawn while he talked and talked and talked to her.
“She was sitting erect, fully accepting her destiny.
“I asked her what name she would take, ‘My own, of course.'”
Princess Elizabeth quickly returned to England following her father’s death, where she addressed privy councillors and representatives from the City of London and the Commonwealth at an Accession council at St James’s Palace.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during her coronation on June 2, 1953 (Image: GETTY)
She told the council: “By the sudden death of my dear father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty.
“My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over.”
Almost one year and four months later, on June 4, 1953, the coronation of Elizabeth II took place at Westminster Abbey in London.