A little over sixty years ago, George VI was suffering from ailing health. With a tour of the empire in prospect, he asked his young heir apparent, Princess Elizabeth, to take his place on the tour of duty around Kenya. He even insisted on going to wave off his daughter at the airport to demonstrate that he was well enough for her to go. On February 6th, while the Princess was still in Africa, George VI died in his sleep at Sandringham. Aged just 25, Princess Elizabeth returned back to Britain to take her place as Queen.
Her Majesty usually marks the anniversary of her accession privately, retiring from public view for the day at Sandringham every year to remember the passing of her father in the home where he died.
Today, as the accession marks the start of the sixty year Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, The Queen came out to meet well wishers at Kings Lynn, Norfolk.