Queen to become first British monarch to celebrate platinum jubilee

Elizabeth II will have reigned for 70 years on Sunday

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks at a display of memorabilia from her jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle, Windsor. AP
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is set to become the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee, on Sunday.

The queen will have reigned for 70 years and is already the nation’s longest reigning monarch, plus the longest still-serving sovereign in the world.

The queen’s record-breaking reign has seen her spend 73 per cent of her life on the throne.

She overtook her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest reigning monarch in September 2015, passing her ancestor’s 63 years and 216 days.

“Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception,” the queen remarked at the time.

In a build up to the anniversary, the queen has spent time viewing cards and gifts sent to her by the public.

In newly released images, she is pictured viewing the items, along with a selection of historic items from the royal archives while wearing two aquamarine and diamond brooches which were given to her as an 18th birthday present by her father in April 1944.

She previously wore the brooches when she addressed the nation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day – marking when the Allies defeated Nazi Germany in Europe on May 8, 1945 – in 2020 and for her diamond jubilee televised speech in 2012.

“To begin the celebrations, Her Majesty viewed a selection of cards, letters and artwork sent to her by children and other members of the public to mark this, and previous, jubilees,” Buckingham Palace said.

She will spend Sunday on the Sandringham Estate, as she does each year, to honour her father’s memory.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to praise the Queen’s “tireless service” and “historic reign” as the monarch’s platinum jubilee is celebrated across the country this weekend.

“While it is a moment for national celebration it will be a day of mixed emotions for Her Majesty as the day also marks 70 years since the death of her beloved father, George VI,” Mr Johnson said last week.

“I know that the whole House [of Commons] will want to join me in thanking Her Majesty for her tireless service.

“We look forward to celebrating her historic reign with a series of national events in June.”

The queen became the world’s longest-reigning living monarch in October 2016, when the previous record holder, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, died after ruling for 70 years.

But she is not the world’s longest-reigning monarch – King Sobhuza II of Swaziland, who died in 1982, holds this title.

He was just four months old when he became king and ruled for 82 years and 253 days.

Louis XIV of France, known as the Sun King, is the longest reigning of monarch of a large European country, ruling for 72 years and 110 days from 1643 to 1715.

Updated: February 05, 2022, 5:00 PM