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The Queen has become the first British monarch to reach the milestone date
Her Majesty will today become the first British monarch to reach the milestone date – 65 years to the day that she became Sovereign.
Her record-breaking reign began when her father King George VI died in his sleep at Sandringham on February 6, 1952.
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Today she will mark Accession Day with some quiet reflection at the same Norfolk stately home with no official engagements planned.
Yesterday the 90-year-old monarch was still showing the same dedicated duty to her role that first descended upon her at the age of just 25.
Her Majesty looked radiant in blue as she went on a walkabout at St Peter and St Paul Church in West Newton, on the Sandringham Estate.
Her Majesty is all smiles as she greets crowds of well-wishers at St Peter and St Paul’s Church West
She tenderly gathered a bouquet of flowers from Jessica Attfield, two, who was dressed in a patriotic Union flag dress. Jessica’s father David Beatte said his little girl was delighted to meet the Queen.
He said: “We didn’t know whether the Queen was going to stop and take her flowers. It is brilliant that she did.” Her Majesty looked fit and well following a recent heavy cold and was wrapped up from the chill in an aquamarine coat and matching dress.
She was joined at the church service by the Duke of Edinburgh who also looked to be in fine fettle.
The Monarch and Prince Philip, 95, were driven to the church in her maroon Bentley and were greeted by a crowd of around 250 people.
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Her Majesty showed her dedication to her role that first descended upon her at the age of 25
The couple walked up the 100 yard gravel path to the church door, showing no signs of the illness which afflicted them over Christmas.
They attended a 45 minute service conducted by children from the village Sunday School who read lessons, led prayers and performed a play about Jonah and the Whale.
The Queen presented annual prizes of bibles and books to children, as she does on her visit to the 14th century church every year. Afterwards she walked along a path beside the crowd to the church hall to meet more Sunday School children.
The Queen was handed a bunch of flowers upon her arrival
She stopped to accept around 20 bunches of flowers from children and adults in the crowd who congratulated her on the 65th anniversary of her reign. As she handed bunches of flowers to her lady in waiting and watching police officers, the Queen joked: “I don’t know how many hands we’ve got.”
She smiled and chatted with Royal watcher Alan Mowton of Fosdyke, Lincolnshire, who wished her all the best for her Sapphire Jubilee.
Mr Mowton said: “It is a remarkable achievement being on the throne for 65 years, Her sense of duty and service to the country is just incredible. Long may she continue.”
Despite making history, today will be a low-key affair for the head-of-state. Royal gun salutes will be staged in London as is the tradition.
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 be fired at the Tower of London at 1pm. For the Queen, February 6 denotes the very beginning of her reign and a great sadness at the death of her beloved “Papa”.
George VI, who was suffering from lung cancer, died unexpectedly, but peacefully. Princess Elizabeth was thousands of miles away in Kenya, with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Queen Elizabeth II in pictures
Fri, January 27, 2017
Queen Elizabeth II making her Royal visits in her many colourful and elegant outfits.
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Queen Elizabeth looks towards a man dressed in traditional costume as she arrives to view an exhibition on Fiji at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia in Norwich, eastern England
Philip broke the sad news to his wife while they were alone. Princess Elizabeth, now Queen, was ready to fulfil her duty.
Close to her father as a child, Elizabeth was said to be similar to him in character and, according to royal author Sarah Bradford, they shared a “dedicated professionalism”. Lord Charteris, her then-private secretary, remembered seeing her seated at her desk in Kenya appearing “very composed, absolute master of her fate”.
Asked what name she wished to use as Queen, she is said to have replied simply: “My own name, of course.”