The Queen will mark the 61st anniversary of her accession to the throne privately at Sandringham on Wednesday. She became monarch on the death of her father King George VI. He died on February 6 1952 at the royal estate in Norfolk after suffering from lung cancer.
The Queen was thousands of miles away at the time in Kenya, watching big game in the Treetops Hotel with the Duke of Edinburgh, unaware of the momentous duty that had fallen upon her shoulders. Philip broke the sad news to his wife and the royal couple returned to Britain.
Most years the Queen does not attend public engagements on the day of her accession and on Wednesday she will reflect on the anniversary of her father's death in private.
This year will see the monarch mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation which was held on June 2, 1953.