Queen Elizabeth is normally out and about attending various functions as part of her royal stature. However, today, February 6, she has opted to stay indoors and spend the day with Prince Philip.
Unknown to many, there is a heartbreaking reason for this.
The Queen has remained in her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk after the holidays to attend several engagements in the area. Soon, she is expected to return to Buckingham Palace, but not before this special day for the Queen.
On This Day
On February 6, 1952, the life of then Princess Elizabeth changed forever. Her father, King George VI died in his sleep at the Sandringham Estate. He was only 56.
The king was suffering from the early stages of lung cancer and several other health issues, but his death came as a surprise to the world -- most especially to the young Princess Elizabeth. The cause of his death was identified to be a fatal blood clot in the heart.
Elizabeth, sadly, was not with her father when he passed away. She was on an official royal trip to Kenya with her husband Prince Philip. When the news of his death reached Kenya, it was Prince Philip who found out about it first through a reporter. He then took Elizabeth in a quiet corner and broke to her the sad news.
Immediately, Princess Elizabeth cut short her royal tour and made arrangements to fly back to England.
The New Queen
In her father's passing, Princess Elizabeth -- who was only 25 at that time -- had to assume the role left by her father. She was handed down the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty.
"My heart is too full today to say more to you today than I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the prosperity and happiness of my people," Elizabeth said back then.
Her return to England took longer than expected, as their flight was delayed due to a thunderstorm. Her mourning dress also went missing since it was already sent to the next location of her tour before it was cut short.
Prime Minister Churchill, at that time, offered his condolences and said there are no words to describe the spontaneous expression of grief that they are feeling.
In the death of a king, however, a strong queen was born.
Since then, Queen Elizabeth II would spend this day remembering her father in the Sandringham Estate with her husband Prince Philip. They have been doing this together for 72 years.
A Father's Legacy
This year, a day before her father's death anniversary, the Queen went on a poignant engagement that echoed her father's legacy: she opened Wolferton's new pumping station which is within the Sandringham Estate.
The new pumping station was to replace the old one, which her father opened shortly after World War II ended.
The station allows the 7,000 acres of marshland to be drained, dried out and farmed. It was designed to protect the area from flooding. It has been rebuilt to become more sustainable, efficient, and environment-friendly.
Remembering a loved one of the day they died is truly heartbreaking. Today, Queen Elizabeth spent a quiet time at home with Prince Philip, remembering his father and the legacy he has left her.