Queen qui­etly marks day she came to Throne in 1952

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - CEYLAN YEGINSU New York Times

LON­DON — To cel­e­brate the Queen’s Sap­phire Ju­bilee Mon­day, mark­ing 65 years on the Bri­tish throne, there were new coins, a new stamp, gun salutes, and a reis­sued por­trait taken by a famed pho­tog­ra­pher.

The only thing miss­ing? The queen, who, in keep­ing with past prac­tice on the an­niver­sary it­self, planned to ob­serve the day pri­vately, with a quiet re­flec­tive com­mem­o­ra­tion at her es­tate in San­dring­ham, in east­ern Eng­land. It is to her, after all, the day her beloved fa­ther, King Ge­orge VI, died.

Grander cel­e­bra­tions are in the works for the Plat­inum Ju­bilee in 2022. What is the ju­bilee? Royal ju­bilees com­mem­o­rate the life and reign of monar­chs. The Queen, 90, the world’s longestreign­ing monarch, is the first Bri­tish sovereign to hold a Sap­phire Ju­bilee.

The events were rel­a­tively muted com­pared to the Sil­ver (25 years), Gold (50 years) and Di­a­mond (60 years) Ju­bilees, which were cel­e­brated with large-scale fes­tiv­i­ties across Bri­tain. There was a Ruby Ju­bilee to mark El­iz­a­beth’s 40 years as queen, but that an­niver­sary was also low-key.

Few Bri­tish monar­chs have reached the 50-year mile­stone. King Ge­orge III and Queen Vic­to­ria marked their Golden Ju­bilees with huge cel­e­bra­tions.

How did the queen cel­e­brate the day?

The Queen spent the an­niver­sary at San­dring­ham, and there will be no broader cel­e­bra­tions in com­ing days, as there had been for pre­vi­ous ju­bilees. She was ap­par­ently in “good spir­its” at a church ser­vice Sun­day, lo­cal news out­lets re­ported.

There have been con­cerns about the queen’s health since she missed church ser­vices Christ­mas Day and New Year’s Day be­cause of what Buck­ing­ham Palace de­scribed as a heavy cold. Those ab­sences were the first time in about 30 years that she had missed a hol­i­day ser­vice.

The Queen made her first pub­lic ap­pear­ance this year on Jan. 8, after a month’s ab­sence. She cel­e­brated her Di­a­mond Ju­bilee, in 2012, with a se­ries of events, in­clud­ing a float­ing pageant on the River Thames and a tour across Bri­tain. The last time she was in Canada was in 2010. She has made three of­fi­cial vis­its to Hamil­ton (1951, 1959 and 2002). How did Bri­tons cel­e­brate? A tra­di­tional 41-gun royal salute was held at Green Park in Lon­don. That was fol­lowed by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of Lon­don.

A 2014 por­trait of the Queen taken by the Bri­tish pho­tog­ra­pher David Bai­ley, wear­ing sap­phire jew­elry given to her by her fa­ther as a wed­ding gift in 1947, was pub­lished as part of the com­mem­o­ra­tion. The Royal Mail is­sued a stamp worth 5 pounds (about $6.25) and coins have been cast by the Royal Mint.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May con­grat­u­lated the Queen on be­half of the na­tion, call­ing her an “in­spi­ra­tion.” Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau sent out a tweet: “To­day marks the Queen’s 65th an­niver­sary on the throne — her #Sap­phireJu­bilee. Warm­est con­grat­u­la­tions & best wishes on be­half of Cana­di­ans.”


The Queen on Corona­tion day in June, 1953.


A 2014 photo re­leased Mon­day as an of­fi­cial por­trait for the ju­bilee.

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