Monday, 6 December 2021

Queen Elizabeth II closes in on historic milestone

Queen - Elizabeth II

LONDON: On February 6 – the anniversary of the day she became Queen – Elizabeth II will have reigned for 65 years. The Queen’s silver jubilee in 1977 saw her travel 56,000 miles around the world in celebration, journeying from Western Samoa, Australia and New Zealand to Tonga, Fiji, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, Canada and the West Indies. But there are no grand festivities planned to mark the head-of-state’s new milestone. The Queen is, at this stage, not due to be out and about on official engagements on the landmark day. The sovereign, who missed church over Christmas due to a heavy cold, will undoubtedly be matter of fact about this historic occasion. In 2015, when she thanked the nation for its kind messages after overtaking Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she admitted bluntly that the royal record was “not one to which I have ever aspired”. She added: “Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception.” The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday last year and had a busy schedule commemorating the occasion, with a walkabout, beacon lighting and a black tie dinner for family and friends in Windsor on her actual birthday. A weekend of national celebrations, including a party on The Mall, was held for her official birthday in June. It is likely that any large-scale jubilee celebrations will be reserved for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022 – although any events will take into account the fact that Queen is due to turn 96 that year. The Duke of Cambridge is about to become a full-time royal this summer and will increase his official duties on behalf of the Queen. William and the Duchess of Cambridge are carrying out an engagement on Monday, February 6, but not to do with the Queen’s record-breaking reign. They will be attending Place2Be’s Big Assembly at a London school to mark Children’s Mental Health Week. Royal gun salutes will be staged in London on February 6, as is the tradition.

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