Queen Elizabeth II’s reign will be celebrated at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday as part of a four-day bank holiday to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee. 

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at 11.30am and is expected to be the largest gathering of the Royal Family since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding four years ago. 

The Great Paul, the largest church bell in the country, will be rung  for the Service — marking the first time it has been rung for a royal  occasion since the Seventies.  

Elizabeth is the longest-serving British monarch, having ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of just 25.  

For the majority of her reign, she had her husband and loyal consort, Prince Philip,  by her side, the pair having first met during her family’s visit to  Dartmouth Naval College in 1939 when the then-Prince of Greece was the  cadet assigned to look after Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret.  

According to a royal documentary, Elizabeth and Philip’s romance  began soon after their first encounter, and the future Queen was  reportedly “impressed” by the young cadet’s risky gesture at the end of  the royal visit. 

As King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother)  and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret left the harbour on a royal  yacht, they were chased by the group of cadets, which included Philip.  

But the future Duke of Edinburgh wanted to make a lasting impression on Elizabeth, so rowed out further than the other cadets.  

Lady Myra Butter, Philip’s cousin, told the 2018 Channel 5 documentary, ‘Elizabeth: Our Queen’: “When they [the Royal Family]  left, he [Philip] got in a little boat and rowed out to sort of wave  goodbye, which was quite a prank. 

“And, I should imagine, rather frowned upon by the authorities, but that, I think, would have impressed her.  “She would have thought it was enormous fun. And I think she must have seen something then, actually.”