On Monday, February 6, 2017, Queen Elizabeth II achieved what no other British monarch has: a Sapphire Jubilee.
The Queen acceded the throne 65 years ago, following the death of her father, King George VI.
Her Majesty celebrated the day privately at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. She attended Sunday service at St Peter and St Paul in West Newton, Norfolk, where she greeted well wishers and accepted bouquets of flowers afterwards.
Military salutes were given in London on Monday. The Telegraph has photos and reported:
Royal gun salutes were staged in London on Accession Day, as is the tradition, with a 41-gun salute by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park at noon.
The Band of the Royal Artillery played a selection of celebratory music close to the firing position as 89 horses pulled six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into position in the park.
A 62-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company was fired at the Tower of London at 1pm.
The photo above was taken in 2014. Buckingham Palace re-released it for the Sapphire Jubilee.
Sky News explains:
The picture was taken by the photographer David Bailey in 2014 for the GREAT campaign, a publicity campaign to promote Britain around the world.
In the photograph The Queen is wearing a suite of sapphire jewellery given to her by King George VI as a wedding present in 1947.
It was on the 6 February, 1952 that her father died while at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, who was 25, was in Kenya on a royal tour with her husband Prince Philip at the time.
Although no national celebrations are planned this year, the Royal Mint is issuing a set of commemorative coins. Royal Mail has released a £5 commemorative stamp in sapphire blue.
Two years ago, when the Queen became Britain’s longest-ever reigning monarch, she said that achieving that landmark was:
“not one to which I have ever aspired”.
She added: “Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception.”
Those of us who treasure her give thanks and wish her well for many more years as our monarch.
As Her Majesty is approaching her 91st birthday this year, the Duke of Cambridge — Prince William — is taking on more official royal appearances on her behalf.
With regard to length of reign, Queen Victoria comes second in the list with 63 years. Then we go further back in history to George III, who ruled for 59 years, 96 days (1760-1820). James VI of Scotland served for 57 years, 246 days (1567-1625).
In fifth place — incredibly, given it that this was during the Middle Ages — is Henry III of England and Lord of Ireland, who reigned for 56 years and 29 days between 1216 and 1272.