Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II
On 6 February 2017, the Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II, marking sixty-five years of her reign, occurred. The longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to have a sapphire jubilee.
Contrary to her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, there were no widespread public celebrations of the Sapphire Jubilee. Instead, like the February 1992 Ruby Jubilee, the Queen did not undertake any official engagements. As then, she spent the day in "quiet reflection" on the anniversary of the death of her father, George VI, and undertaking official work at Sandringham House. She attended a service at St Peter and St Paul Church in West Newton, Norfolk on Sunday 5 February, where she was greeted by crowds of well-wishers. Larger-scale celebrations took place in June 2016, to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, and any extensive celebrations would be reserved for a possible Platinum jubilee in 2022. Despite proposals for larger celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession in June 2017, including a mooted bank holiday, no such celebrations were held.
The Sapphire Jubilee featured blue stamps from the Royal Mail, commemorative coins from the Royal Mint, and a reissue of an official 2014 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by David Bailey. In this official portrait the Queen wears sapphire jewellery which she received as a wedding present from her father. In September 2017, a new community centre in Collier Row, Romford, was named the Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre in the Queen's honour.
The Jubilee also involved the ringing of the bells in Westminster Abbey, a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park, a 62-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London and gun salutes in several other places around the United Kingdom. Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, congratulated the Queen, saying in part that the occasion was "another remarkable milestone for our remarkable Queen. ... I know the nation will join with me today in celebrating and giving thanks for the lifetime of service Her Majesty the Queen has given to our country and to the Commonwealth. ... She has truly been an inspiration to all of us and I am proud, on behalf of the nation, to offer our humble thanks and congratulations on celebrating this Sapphire Jubilee." At a celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial in Canada House on 19 July 2017, the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch was presented to the Queen as a gift from the Governor General of Canada.
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