Queen Elizabeth Celebrates Her Record-breaking Reign with a Sparkling Sapphire Portrait
In a set of sparkling sapphire jewelry, Queen Elizabeth II sits ready to mark a special anniversary on Monday, Feb. 6.
The Queen, 90, who broke the record as the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015, is now passing another milestone: She’s the first to have a 65th anniversary — aka the sapphire anniversary — on the throne.
So it is fitting that Buckingham Palace celebrated the milestone by re-releasing a portrait taken by British photographer David Bailey where the monarch is wearing a suite of sapphire jewels she received as a wedding day gift from her father, King George VI, in 1947.
The Queen will spend the day privately at Sandringham with the minimum of fuss as it’s a day tinged with poignancy as it’s the anniversary of the death of her father. She spent her Sunday making her usual trip to church on her estate while wearing a teal ensemble.
The Bailey image of the Queen was taken in 2014 for the GREAT campaign that promote Britain abroad.
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Insiders say it is normal for the queen to quietly mark her anniversaries. “She’s naturally shy and is the opposite of showy,” royal historian and author Robert Lacey told PEOPLE. “And, of course, the anniversaries of the accession remind her of her father’s premature death.
“There is only so many of these landmark dates that people will want to mark. I”m sure she would rather people were asking why isn’t it being celebrated rather than, ‘Oh no, not another royal anniversary.’ She always plays safe — and that is a good instinct.”