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Queen Elizabeth II becomes first British monarch to reach Sapphire Jubilee

By Brigit Katz on February 6, 2017

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee on Monday, marking her 65th year on the throne.

She is the first British monarch to reach this milestone; in 2015, at the age of 89, Queen Elizabeth II became the U.K.’s longest-reigning monarch, surpassing the 63-year rule of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

To mark the Jubilee, a 41-gun salute was fired in London’s Green Park and a 62-gun salute was fired at the Tower of London, the BBC reports. The Royal Mint has released a range of commemorative coins — among them a £1,000 solid gold coin, which costs £50,000 to purchase — and the Royal Mail has issued a special £5 stamp in sapphire blue, according to Yahoo News.

A portrait of the Queen by British photographer David Bailey has also been reissued in honor of the occasion. Taken in 2014, the photo shows the Queen wearing sapphire earrings and a matching necklace — wedding presents from her father King George VI.

Prime Minister Theresa May offered her congratulations to the Queen, saying that the monarch is “truly an inspiration to all of us.”

In the midst of these public tributes, the Queen celebrated her jubilee day in private at her Sandringham Estate — as she had done on most previous anniversaries of her accession to the throne. The Queen often demurs when it comes to milestones of her historic rule. After she became the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, she said that the record was “not one to which I have ever aspired.”

Read more at the BBC and Yahoo News.


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