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Sapphire Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth II’s best moments

As Her Majesty The Queen celebrates 65 years as Queen, we chart the facts and moments of her life.

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Today, Her Majesty the Queen makes history by celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee, after 65 years as queen. To celebrate, we mark Queen Elizabeth’s memorable moments and share some little-known facts…

Equanimity Queen Elizabeth II

Equanimity, 2004, copyright of Chris Levine,, commissioned by Jersey Heritage Trust

The Queen has requested for this year’s celebrations for her Sapphire Jubilee are to be rather a modest affair. She will be spending the day at Sandringham in contemplation, thinking of the memory of her father, who died on 6 Feb 1952. However, the Royal Mail has issued £5 stamp to commemorate the jubilee, and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will stage a 41-gun salute in Green Park, followed by music from Band of the Royal Artillery. The Honourable Artillery Company will then fire a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.

Memorable Moments

The Queen was educated at home with Princess Margaret by tutors, and is fluent in French, due to her French and Belgium governesses.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth had been exchanging letters since she was aged 13, before marrying in 1947 at Westminster Abbey.

At the age of 25, Elizabeth became Queen (for those of you who have been glued to Netflix’s The Crown, this won’t be news to you….)

When she asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to give her a push to get her ‘started’ because her Coronation gown was so heavy. Unsurprising, with Norman Hartnell’s design being encrusted in a mass of pearls, gold and silver bullion, diamantes, opals and crystals. She wasn’t too put off, however, as she has worn the dress six times since, at receptions and openings of various parliaments.

When the Queen gave birth to Prince Andrew she became the first reigning monarch to have a child since Queen Victoria.

Her Majesty was the first British monarch to visit China on a state visit in 1986.

Queen Elizabeth is, in fact, history’s most well-travelled head of state, reportedly visiting over 116 countries during her reign, despite never owning a passport.

On 9 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth became the longest serving monarch in British history, breaking the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Last year, Her Majesty turned 90 years old. We celebrated the occasion with a special royal edition of Country & Town House.


The Queen learnt to drive when she was in the army and does still drive herself on occasion.

The Queen starts each day with a bowl of Kellogg’s cornflakes and some Earl Grey tea. Sounds pretty normal, doesn’t it?

Queen Elizabeth II was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her great-grandmother and paternal grandmother. But her family called her Lilibet, as a child.

Her Majesty has an embroidered cushion at home in Balmoral with the words ‘It’s good to be Queen.’ I’m sure it is…

The Crown, a Netflix original series, was created with the biggest budget known for a tv series, of £100m, and traces the Queen’s early reigning years, to the present day. As the award season has been kicking off, Claire Foy has picked up awards for her role as Queen Elizabeth II at The Golden Globes and SAG Awards.

When she partied into the night and did the conga through The Ritz to celebrate VE day on 8 May 1945. She wrote the following in her diary: ‘Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, Pall Mall, walked simply miles. Saw parents on balcony at 12.30am – ate, partied, bed 3am!’

We all know how much the Queen loves her corgis. She has owned over 30 corgis since her 18th birthday. Her first corgi was named, Kelpie and lived for 17 years.

The Queen is also a fan of recording programmes on the Sky Planner. Really she’s just like us.

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