Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday privately marked 61 years on the throne at the royal holiday estate in the southeastern English county of Norfolk, a subdued anniversary compared to the boisterous festivities that surrounded last year's Diamond Jubilee celebration.

The queen will honor tradition by remaining at Sandringham House, where her father - King George VI - died 61 years ago of lung cancer while the then-princess was on a trip to Kenya with her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The 86-year-old monarch generally does not attend to official business on this date, although last year's 60th anniversary was an exception.

As in past years, a 41-gun royal salute was performed at midday Wednesday in Green Park, next to Buckingham Palace, in homage to the British head of state.

June 2 will be the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth II's coronation at Westminster Abbey, an occasion that will be marked with a special Mass on June 4 at that same London church.

The royal family, foreign dignitaries and members of the British government are expected to attend that religious service.

According to the British media, the queen will return to work next week after wrapping up her winter vacation in Sandringham,

Elizabeth II is Britain's second-longest serving monarch after her great-great-grandmother Victoria, whose reign lasted 64 years.

EFE