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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 February, 2005, 14:22 GMT
Queen marks 53rd year of her rule
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen does not celebrate the day of her accession
The Queen has marked the 53rd anniversary of her accession to the throne with a trip to church.

She attended a morning service at West Newton Church on the Sandringham royal estate in Norfolk, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen does not celebrate Accession Day as it also commemorates the death of her father, George VI.

She prefers to stay at Sandringham, where the King died in his sleep early in the morning of 6 February, 1952.

During the service, the Queen presented around 20 Sunday school pupils with awards for good attendance.

Onlookers' welcome

The children, who each received a bible or prayer book, performed a Russian religious folk tale called Papa Panov for the Queen.

The monarch attended church wearing a lime green coat with a matching hat over an orange dress.

Some 50 onlookers gathered outside the church to welcome the Queen.

Royal watcher Sheila Clark, 47, from Glasgow, said she had come down from Scotland especially to mark the anniversary.

She said the Queen had stopped in the nearby village of Wolferton on Saturday to say hello when she recognised her and fellow royal watcher Alan Morton.

"She was just driving past, she saw us and stopped her car. She knows us both and said she knew why we were here so we could see her at the service today.

Roger Daltrey
The Queen will present a CBE to Who singer Roger Daltrey this week

"She just chatted about the weather and said how nice the station was.

"I told her we had come down especially for today."

Union jacks have been flown from government buildings to mark the anniversary of the date that the Queen succeeded her father. Her official coronation did not follow until the next year.

The 78-year-old monarch will return to Buckingham Palace this week from Sandringham, where she has been since before Christmas.

Her royal duties next week include opening new offices for the British Red Cross and presenting a CBE to rock star Roger Daltrey for services to charity, music and entertainment.

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