Queen Elizabeth's accession to the British throne occurred exactly 68 years ago today. As she was mourning the death of her father, King George VI, she was also stepping into her first official public roles as monarch.

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"By the sudden death of my dear father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty," Queen Elizabeth said during her speech, back in 1952.

Picture taken on November 4th, 1952 showing the Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London 

This was Queen Elizabeth's first public engagement as monarch

The then 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth appeared for her first public engagement as monarch on April 10, 1952, less than two months after her father died.

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The occasion where she debuted as Queen was the Maundy service at Westminster Abbey in London, a tradition which dates back to the 13th century. Her husband, Prince Philip, was there by her side. 

Queen Elizabeth still takes part in the religious service

Queen Elizabeth, now 93, still takes part in the annual tradition where small silver coins are distributed as symbolic alms to elderly recipients. The Queen usually interacts with them, while some of them give her some gifts in return.

The Maundy service takes place on Maundy Thursday - the day before Good Friday.

Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Wolferton Pumping Station, in Wolferton, Norfolk, England, 2020