Gun salutes mark 66th anniversary of Queen's accession

Gun salutes have been fired in London to officially mark the 66th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

The longest-reigning sovereign in British history became queen on February 6 1952 on the death of her father King George VI.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery mark the 66th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne with a 41 Gun Royal Salute in Hyde Park, London. (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Queen is marking the milestone privately at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Gun salutes rung out across the capital, with 41 volleys fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park at noon, and a 62-gun salute due to be staged at 1pm by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London.

As she does most years, the Queen is reflecting on the anniversary of her father's death in private at Sandringham, where she has been staying for her annual winter break.

George VI died in his sleep at Sandringham House after suffering from lung cancer.

Princess Elizabeth, who was just 25, was thousands of miles away in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour with the Duke of Edinburgh when she learned of her father's death and her accession to the throne.

She returned home a queen.

Will you be ready? Watch @HACRegiment fire #AccessionDay 62 #GunSalute@TowerOfLondon 1pm today

-- The Army in London (@ArmyInLondon) February 6, 2018

This year will be a busy one for the Windsors. The royal family will be celebrating two weddings - Prince Harry's and Princess Eugenie's.

The Queen is also set to welcome two new great-grandchildren - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child and Zara and Mike Tindall's second.

The Prince of Wales also has a milestone birthday - he will turn 70 in November.

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