Queen Elizabeth II marks Sapphire Jubilee, becomes the longest reigning sovereign

London: Queen Elizabeth II, the world's longest reigning sovereign, on Monday became the first British monarch to reach her Sapphire Jubilee, with 65 years on the throne. The 90-year-old monarch is marking the landmark as a day of private contemplation at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk as it also coincides with the day her father, George V, died.

Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II.

To mark the occasion, Buckingham Palace have re-released a photograph of the Queen, wearing distinctive sapphire jewellery. The picture was taken by celebrated 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. At the time of the commission, Bailey said he had "always been a huge fan of the Queen". "She has very kind eyes with a mischievous glint. I've always liked strong women, and she is a very strong woman." 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, Duke of Edinburgh, at the time.

Royal gun salutes in London will mark Ascension Day on Monday with a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Green Park near Buckingham Palace. A 62-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company will be fired at the Tower of London soon after. The UK's Royal Mint is to mark the 65th anniversary with a range of specially designed Sapphire Jubilee commemorative coins, as the Royal Mail issues a Sapphire Blue 5 pound stamp.

Large-scale jubilee celebrations are expected to be reserved for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, when the monarch will mark 70 years.

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Updated Date: Feb 06, 2017 16:09:46 IST