For anybody following the Netflix series "The Crown," this is a familiar subject. Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations, who shares the same name with one of the greatest Queens of England from the onset of the Age of Exploration and Discovery. Indeed, her life and reign has established new records in the histories of monarchies in the world. She has long surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning British Queen Regnant, British Monarch, and female head of state, period. With last year’s passing of Thailand’s King Rama IX (Bhumibol Adulyadej) Elizabeth also became the longest living and currently reigning monarch and head of state in world history.

Advertisements
Advertisements

To hammer that point home, on Monday, February 6 she celebrated her 65th, or Sapphire, Jubilee anniversary, the first British ruler to ever hit that milestone.

Long to reign over us

As expected, celebrations took place throughout the UK in honor of the Queen’s Jubilee, although in general, the spectacle seemed to observers as being rather low-key. To wit, a commemorative portrait of Elizabeth II prepared for the occasion was a reissue, taken back in 2014 by photographer David Bailey. The reason a two-year-old photograph was chosen was because it depicted Her Royal Majesty wearing a sapphire jewelry set of earrings and necklace, a gift on her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh by her late father George VI. As for the Queen, no official and formal celebrations of her 65 years on the British throne have been planned much less announced, while she is at her Norfolk estate of Sandringham, likely thinking of simple family affairs like her grandchildren's futures for instance.

Advertisements

Nonetheless, tradition has mandated that the military gives honor to their monarch of February 6 – Accession Day – with #gun salutes being performed at noon by the King’s Troop Royal House Artillery using 41 World War I-era field guns at London’s Green Park. At 1 PM, another salute for the Queen’s Jubilee was carried out with 62 guns courtesy of the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London.

Another way the UK was celebrating was by the Royal Mint’s issuance of Elizabeth II’s Sapphire Jubilee commemorative coins, one of which is valued at a whopping £50,000. This was matched by the Royal Mail’s own blue-background commemorative stamps with a cameo profile of the Queen, worth £5 ($6.25) a piece.

Subdued observance

A relatively quiet celebration of this year’s Jubilee was expected, due to the pageantry being reserved for a monarch’s 25th (silver), 50th (gold), and 60th (diamond) years. It’s hoped that the 90-year old Elizabeth II, reported as being "in good spirits" by the press, will remain healthy and strong enough to make it to 2022 when her Platinum Jubilee takes place.