On Monday 6 February, the Queen made history as she became the first British monarch to reach 65 years on the throne. The Sapphire Jubilee marked yet another remarkable milestone in her reign, so how is Her Majesty celebrating? Despite the astonishing achievement, the Queen is not expected to hold any public celebrations. She will spend the day in private, behind closed doors, and will not have any official engagements to attend to.
The Queen will remember her father King George VI on her landmark day
She will, after all, be remembering her dear father King George VI, who passed away during the night of the fifth of February and the morning of the sixth in 1952. George died from a coronary thrombosis in his sleep at the age of 56 and overnight, his daughter went from being the young Princess Elizabeth to Her Majesty the Queen. Understandably, the Queen will mark her father's death anniversary in private. She will be at Sandringham with her husband Prince Philip and is expected to spend part of the day going through her red boxes of official documents, as she has done every day of her reign. She has always made it clear that her long reign is a consequence of her father's early death, and therefore no cause for celebration.
She has always made it clear that her long reign is a consequence of her father's early death
In 2015 the Queen surpassed Queen Victoria as the nation's longest-reigning monarch. Even then, in her understated way, the 90-year-old royal acknowledged her milestone, but also made it clear that she did not want to 'celebrate' Victoria's death. She asked for no public celebrations, and instead held a low-key private dinner at home.
The monarch is expected to go through her red boxes, as she does every day
Her Majesty did thank well-wishers during a speech in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was carrying out an engagement. Speaking at Tweedbank station after opening the new Border Railway, she said: "Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness." She added that the record was "not one to which I have ever aspired". The Queen is due to return to London in early February, following her winter retreat at Sandringham. Her next public engagement will be on Valentine's Day, when she and the Duke of Edinburgh will open the new National Cyber Security Centre in Victoria, central London, just a stone's throw away from Buckingham Palace.