The Queen will pass a new milestone on Saturday as she prepares to mark her 69th anniversary as monarch.
Princess Elizabeth ascended the throne on 6 February 1952 following the death of her father King George VI. She was told the devastating news during a trip to Kenya with Prince Philip.
The couple had been due to travel to Australia and New Zealand, but the tour was cancelled, and they returned home to the UK so that Elizabeth could assume her duties as sovereign. Her coronation took place the following year at Westminster Abbey.
Traditionally, the monarch stays at her Sandringham estate until after the anniversary of her father’s death, but this year she has had to miss out on the poignant tradition.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been residing at Windsor Castle during England’s third lockdown, but they will reportedly return to London ahead of a number of key royal events planned for this summer.
Prince Philip will mark his 100th birthday on 10 June, while Trooping the Colour is scheduled to take place on 12 June to celebrate the Queen’s 95th birthday.
Her Majesty has also reportedly invited new US President Joe Biden to a meeting at Buckingham Palace this summer as one of her first major diplomatic events since lockdown.
The Queen has been largely carrying out her duties remotely throughout the pandemic and has delighted royal fans with her first video calls.
She took part in a scaled-down version of Trooping the Colour last June at Windsor Castle and also knighted fundraising veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore during a special ceremony before attending her granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding last July.
The Queen will welcome her ninth great-grandchild when her granddaughter Princess Eugenie gives birth to her first child this month. Zara and Mike Tindall‘s third child will also be the monarch’s tenth great-grandchild when the tot is born this year.