Queen a ‘symbol of stability’ in inspiring throwback photos—but what are those red boxes?

The Queen’s throwback photos include an unusual detail as fans praise the ‘incredible’ monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Queen Elizabeth II delivery office in Windsor
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen was dubbed a “symbol of stability” by fans after sharing “incredible” throwback photos in honor of a momentous day—and they feature some intriguing red boxes. 


It might seem like only yesterday that the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, but now 70 years have passed since her accession to the throne on February 6th 1952. As is tradition, the Queen marked the poignant day on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk and reflected on the death of her father King George VI in private. But whilst the Queen’s children might not have all been with her, Prince Charles led tributes to the monarch’s achievements throughout her momentous reign. 

Meanwhile, the Queen began Platinum Jubilee celebrations ahead of Accession Day with a tea party at Sandringham House. On the day itself she shared a series of wonderful snaps, many of which featured some unusual bright red boxes…

Taking to social media, the official Royal Family accounts posted the Queen’s throwback photos. And they certainly showed Her Majesty’s dedication to her royal duties throughout her 70-year reign, ranging from a picture of her at her desk at Buckingham Palace in 1959 to one of her at Sandringham taken just days before by photographer Chris Jackson. 

In all the snaps, eagle-eyed fans might just have spotted the little red boxes beside the Queen. Explaining their presence, the caption stated, “This photograph has been released to mark Accession Day 2022: the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s reign and the start of her Platinum Jubilee year.

“Her Majesty is seen with one of her famous red boxes. Over the past 70 years, The Queen has received daily papers from her Private Secretaries, in person or via a red despatch box."

Queen Elizabeth II After Her Coronation

(Image credit: Bettmann via Getty)

It continued, “The boxes hold documents updating Her Majesty on events in Parliament as well as overseas and Commonwealth matters, and State papers requiring her signature and Royal assent.”

The choice to share these particular snaps featuring such an important part of the Queen’s daily life as monarch celebrates her enduring devotion to her duties as the Sovereign. And this meaningful symbolism didn’t go unnoticed by fans! One even reflected upon how the Queen has been a beacon of “stability” and “resilience” throughout the trials and tribulations of the past seven decades.

“Beautiful and inspiring to reach today, a symbol of stability, resilience and unity, to the stars❤️⭐”, they declared.

This sentiment was echoed by a second person who wrote, “Thank you for your 70 years of service 🤍”.

Queen Elizabeth II cuts a cake to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee

(Image credit: Photo Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“❤️amazing duty, we are so thankful”, someone else replied.

Whilst another agreed, commenting simply, “Absolutely incredible ❤️”.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year might now have officially begun but the full schedule of events to mark the milestone will take place in the summer. It’s not yet known how many of the extended Royal Family members will join Her Majesty, though there’ll no doubt be many people hoping for a full family reunion for these celebrations. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.