Queen Elizabeth II has celebrated many milestones over the last several decades but this latest one is pretty damn epic. She may already be the longest-running British monarch, a record she broke in September 2015, but now she’s also the first to have a 65th anniversary on the throne.
And we couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate the sapphire anniversary than with a stunning portrait, in which Her Majesty is wearing loads of sapphire jewelry given to her by her father, King George VI, as a wedding gift in 1947. Simply gorgeous.
The photo was actually taken in 2014 by British photographer David Bailey but it’s perfect for the day and worthy of a re-release.
It may seem like an astounding achievement, worthy of celebration, but the Queen will spend the day privately at Sandringham, People report. Because for HRH, it’s not a day to celebrate. She will be remembering her father, who passed away on this day in 1952.
The same thing happened in 2015, when she passed Queen Victoria as the nation’s longest-reigning monarch. Yes, she acknowledged the milestone but was adamant about not “celebrating” Victoria’s death. So there were no public events or honours, and instead she kept it low-key with a private dinner at home.
The Queen will doubtless return to the public eye in no time, and will be back to her royal duties once her winter retreat comes to an end. Next up for her and Prince Philip? A public engagement on Valentine’s Day. Fitting.