Queen Elizabeth II: 65 years of reigning

Queen Elizabeth II: 65 years of reigningThe Queen has made history on Monday by becoming the first British monarch to reach their Sapphire Jubilee.

February 6 marks 65 years since Elizabeth II's accession to the throne, but there are no grand festivities planned to mark Her Majesty's milestone.

The Queen is not due to be out and about on official engagements on the landmark day. As is usual on Accession Day, she will be spending it privately at her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

The Queen, who missed church over Christmas due to a heavy cold, will undoubtedly be the matter of fact about the historic occasion.

In 2015, when she thanked the nation for the kind messages after overtaking Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she admitted bluntly that the royal record was "not one to which I have ever aspired".

"Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception," she added.

The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday last year and had a busy schedule commemorating the occasion, with a walkabout, beacon lighting and a black tie dinner for family and friends in Windsor on her actual birthday.

The Duke of Cambridge is about to become a full-time royal this summer and will increase his official duties on behalf of the Queen.

The anniversary of Elizabeth II's accession to the throne in 1952 is a poignant time for the Queen, marking the day her father George VI died.

She often spends Accession Day privately at Sandringham, staying there through the Christmas period. She usually makes her return to Buckingham Palace a few days later.

Monday's Sapphire Jubilee is being marked with cannon salutes in London's Green Park and at the Tower of London.

Buckingham Palace also released a photo of the queen by David Bailey to mark the occasion. In the picture, taken in 2014, the monarch wears a suite of sapphire jewelry given to her by her father as a wedding gift in 1947.
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