On the 6th February, the current reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 65th year as our Queen of England – an achievement which lands her the title of longest reigning monarch in history, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s 63 years, seven months and two day-long reign.
And an official portrait of Her Majesty has been re-released to mark this historical day. The portrait has been re-issued by photographer David Bailey, who originally took the shot in 2014. The picture shows the Queen wearing a sapphire necklace and earrings, which were initially given to her by King George VI in 1947, as a wedding gift.
So how does the Queen plan on passing this important day? Unfortunately, the day is set to be more sombre than celebratory for the royal. The Queen’s sister has previously mentioned how, to her, the day is a reminder that the father died young, at just 56 – and that this is the sad reason she’s earned this prestigious title.
According to reports, the Queen will spend the day in private at her Sandringham estate, reflecting on her father and her decades long reign.
Dickie Arbitter, former press secretary to the royal family, has said that the Queen will avoid public engagements that day, but will “go to church the day before and her father will be in her thoughts then. On the day itself, she will do her red boxes but she won’t be going out and about anywhere.”
The Queen famously spends the beginning of her day going through the iconic red boxes, which contain important documents for her to read over and sign.
It was in 2015 that Elizabeth surpassed Queen Victoria to become the longest reigning monarch, but, due to the sad nature of the accolade, admitted at an event in Scotland last year that “it is not one to which I have ever aspired.”
Queen Elizabeth II also celebrated her Diamond Jubilee back in 2012, marking 60 years of the throne. A huge crowd of around 1 million people came out to Buckingham Palace to congratulate the Queen, with throngs squeezed into the Mall to catch a glimpse of the royal.
The royal family also gathered on board the boat The Spirit of Chatwell as part of the jubilee celebrations, to watch a procession of boats and flotillas proceed down the River Thames for the River Pageant.
The monarchy will also celebrate the special occasion by releasing a series of commemorative coins, ranging in price from £13 to a staggering £49,995. Although all of the coins will feature a profile of Queen Elizabeth II’s face, the £5 coin range will deliver a particularly special message, reading “My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”