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The Queen

The Queen marks 68 years on the throne


The Queen ascended the throne 68 years ago today. She will mark the day, which is also the anniversary of her father’s death, privately at Sandringham in Norfolk.

Elizabeth II’s reign began at some point in the early hours of February 6th 1952 when King George VI passed away in his sleep. His death was discovered that morning when his valet went to wake him. The news that she was now Monarch was broken to Elizabeth II in Kenya by her husband, Prince Philip, where the two were staying at the start of a tour of Commonwealth countries. They returned to London immediately.

The Queen chooses to pass the anniversary of her accession quietly, allowing her to remember the beloved father she lost on that day. She is expected to stay at Sandringham for a few more days before ending her Christmas break there and returning to London.

Events will take place across the country to mark the anniversary of her reign. There will be gun salutes at landmarks including the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle and Cardiff Castle.

Elizabeth II is now entering the 69th year of her reign. She became the longest ruling monarch in British history on September 9th 2015 when she overtook her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, and she is also the longest lived monarch as well as the only one to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee (in 2017). She and Prince Philip, the longest serving and longest lived consort in British royal history, marked their Platinum wedding anniversary in November 2017, another regal record for them.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.