Tue, Feb 07, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Gun salute marks Queen Elizabeth’s 65 years on throne

Reuters, LONDON

Figures of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II are displayed for sale in a shop in London yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, yesterday celebrated her Sapphire Jubilee as Britain commemorated 65 years since she ascended the throne.

The 90-year-old monarch, who became Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign in 2015, did not publicly mark the occasion herself, but a 41-gun royal salute was fired in a central London park to honor the landmark.

“Today’s Sapphire Jubilee marks yet another remarkable milestone for our remarkable queen,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement.

“It is a testament to her selfless devotion to the nation that she is not marking becoming the first monarch to reign for 65 years with any special celebration, but instead getting on with the job to which she has dedicated her life,” May said.

Elizabeth became queen aged 25 on Feb. 6, 1952, following the death of her father, George VI.

When she overtook her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s record 63 years on the throne, she said that it was not something to which she had ever aspired.

Buckingham Palace said she would spend yesterday at her residence in Sandringham in Norfolk as usual.

However, the queen’s office released a 2014 portrait showing her wearing a suite of sapphire jewelry she received from her father as a wedding gift in 1947.

The 2014 portrait by David Bailey shows her wearing the glittering necklace, dating from 1850 and made of 16 large oblong sapphires surrounded by diamonds.

The Royal Mint is marking the anniversary with specially designed commemorative coins that bear words from her 21st birthday speech to the Commonwealth in 1947: “My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”

The Royal Mail has also issued a stamp in a sapphire blue color.

Elizabeth’s three big jubilees were the silver jubilee in 1977 — after 25 years — marked by street parties and a world tour; the 2002 golden jubilee — at 50 years — featuring a pop concert at Buckingham Palace; and the diamond jubilee in 2012 — for 60 years — which saw a river pageant on the Thames in London.

Elizabeth has cut back on international tours, but still regularly performs official duties around Britain and remains hugely popular with Britons with an approval rating of about 80 percent.

She said in December last year that she would reduce the number of her patronages, passing on her role at dozens of charities, academic institutions and sporting groups to other members of the royal family.

Additional reporting by AFP

This story has been viewed 15047 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top