Heritage

The Quiet Way Queen Elizabeth Marks Her Reign

It isn't a day of celebration for the British monarch.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / TIM GRAHAM
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Yesterday marked the 67th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne, but despite the date's significance, the British monarch won't be celebrating. While February 6 is the day she became Queen, it is also the anniversary of her father's death.

Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25 in 1952. She was in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour when her father, King George VI, died in his sleep at Sandringham, following a battle with lung cancer.


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Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Margaret wearing veils on their way to the funeral of King George VI.

In previous years, sources close to the royal family have said that the Queen spends the day in "quiet reflection," and "quiet contemplation." It's likely that 2019 will be no different.

"It’s important to understand that for the Queen this marks the anniversary of the day her father died," Dickie Arbiter, the Queen's former press secretary, told the Telegraph in 2017. "She has always made it clear that her long reign is a consequence of her father’s early death and so it is not a day for celebration."

He also shared that even in her grief, the Queen is constant in her duty to her country, still reading the dispatches of government intel that are delivered via red boxes. "She will go to church the day before and her father will be in her thoughts then. On the day itself, she will do her red boxes but she won’t be going out and about anywhere," Arbiter explained.

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There will be gun salutes across the U.K. to mark the occasion, but in general, the rest of the royal family does not participate in the Queen's rituals on her accession day.

"The Prince of Wales and the rest of the family have never involved themselves in this anniversary," Ingrid Seward, the editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine told the Sun in 2017.

"But they all respect the fact that the Queen likes to have this day to herself.”

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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