The Sapphire Queen: Elizabeth II's landmarks, the wedding anniversaries


The marriage of a monarch and her consort
November 20th 1947
(photo Wiki Commons)

In less than 48 hours time, Elizabeth II adds another milestone to the record breaking story of her reign. On February 6th 2017, the Queen will have reigned for 65 years - the first British monarch to reach that landmark.  It will be a day spent quietly, in reflection, but there is also huge excitement as Elizabeth II becomes the Sapphire Queen. It's one of many milestones in her reign and today there's a look at the wedding anniversaries that have celebrated the success of the partnership that is Elizabeth and Philip. Enjoy some more landmarks from the life of the Sapphire Queen.



The first major wedding anniversary came in 1972 when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated 25 years of marriage.


Their Silver Wedding anniversary was marked with plenty of family events with their four children joining them for portraits and parades.





The main event was a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on November 20th 1972, exactly 25 years after the couple had become man and wife there.




Just as they had a quarter of a century earlier, the couple partied at Buckingham Palace afterwards with their family and friends around them.





The Golden Wedding Anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh was celebrated in much more difficult times for the Royal Family. They marked half a century of marriage in November 1997, less than three months after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales had led to some angry outbursts against the House of Windsor.



The celebrations had begun before that summer of sadness with a Golden Wedding Anniversary tea party at Buckingham Palace.




On the eve of their Golden Wedding, November 19th 1997, the couple attended a lunch at the Guildhall where the Queen made one of her most famous speeches and the Duke of Edinburgh was momentarily left lost for words. It was here that the Queen said of her husband ''he is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years and I and his whole family, in this and many other countries, owe him a debt far greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know'.




Many of their family were with them to celebrate with royalty from across Europe attending a golden Gala at the Festival Hall in London that evening. They also attended the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on the anniversary itself. In the evening, a private party was held at Windsor Castle with royalty from around the world in attendance. The Golden Anniversary was a hard one for the royals to negotiate but the celebrations passed successfully.



By 2007, as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh became the first British monarch and consort to celebrate sixty years of marriage, the party was much easier all round.  The celebrations got under way with a special photo released ahead of the anniversary itself and taken at Broadlands where they couple had started their honeymoon in 1947.



Royal fans had already had the chance to remember the wedding - that year's special exhibition during the summer opening of Buckingham Palace included archive footage of the day and the clothes worn by those taking part in this historic royal marriage.


The family party started on November 18th 2007 when the Prince of Wales hosted a dinner for his mum and dad at Clarence House. Well, if you're marking a Diamond Wedding Anniversary, you need a chance to wear diamonds.




A National Service of Thanksgiving was held at Westminster Abbey on November 19th 2007 where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated surrounded by their family.




The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh spent their actual Diamond wedding anniversary in Malta where they had lived so happily in the early years of their marriage. They looked just as happy sixty years on. This anniversary was all about the romance of Elizabeth and Philip, the young couple who went on to become such historic and iconic figures in British royal history.

You can read all about the other landmarks of Elizabeth II's reign on the special page here. Tomorrow, there will be one more landmark before the big day, February 6th, when Elizabeth II becomes the Sapphire Queen.

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