On 6th February 1952, King George VI was discovered dead in his bed by one of his servants at Sandringham House. He was just 56 years old.
It is 70 years since Queen Elizabeth, then a 25-year-old princess, learnt of the sudden death of her father. She was on safari in Kenya with her husband, Philip, as part of an official tour.
Elizabeth and Philip returned to England and a period of mourning commenced.
George VI's coffin lay in St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham until 11 February. It was then carried, in procession, to nearby Wolferton railway station. The coffin was then carried by train to London King's Cross railway station where another formal procession carried it to Westminster Hall.
Here, the king lay in state for three days.
Some 304,000 people passed through Westminster Hall with queues up to 4 miles (6.4 km) forming.
George VI's funeral was held on 15 February and began with another formal procession to Paddington Station. The coffin was carried on a gun carriage hauled by Royal Navy seamen, as is traditional at the funerals of British sovereigns.
The procession was accompanied by Elizabeth II, George VI's wife Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret (Elizabeth II's sister) and four royal dukes. Numerous foreign monarchs and other representatives were also in attendance.
On arrival at Paddington the coffin was loaded onto a train for the journey to Windsor. Another procession carried the coffin through the town to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle where a service was held.
The body of George VI was then interred in the royal vault.
The procession was the first of a British monarch to be broadcast on television and may have led to the start of a mass purchase of television sets.
Your residents may well recall watching this in their own living rooms or those of a relative or neighbour.
So for them, the day is one of reminiscence and mourning rather than one of celebration. It is, therefore, more pertinent to use the day to gather information from your residents which can be incorporated in your time of celebrating The Queen's Platinum Jubilee which is planned for the first weekend in June this year.
Once you have supported all those that wish to reflect on this day of grief, perhaps with a low-key Afternoon Tea, you can uplift them again with a variety of activities to celebrate the fact that on 6th February this year Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
Internationally, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June 2022.
The bank holiday will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone.
The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.
Look out for events taking place near you.
nb. The Queen's Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.
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