Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II

The Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II on 6 February 2017, marked sixty-five years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. The longest-reigning monarch in British history, Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to have a sapphire jubilee.[1]

Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II
Sapphire Jubilee Havering Town Hall.jpg
A crown-shaped topiary created to commemorate the Sapphire Jubilee at Havering Town Hall, Romford
GenreJubilee of British monarch
Date(s)6 February 2017
Previous eventDiamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II
Next eventPlatinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II

Unlike her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, there were no widespread public celebrations of the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee. Instead, like the February 1992 Ruby Jubilee, the Queen did not undertake any official engagements.[1][2] As then, she spent the day in "quiet reflection" on the anniversary of the death of her father, George VI, and undertaking official work at Sandringham House.[1][2] She attended a service at St Peter and St Paul Church in West Newton, Norfolk on Sunday 5 February, where she was greeted by crowds of well-wishers.[2] Larger-scale celebrations took place in June 2016, to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, and any extensive celebrations would be reserved for a possible Platinum Jubilee in 2022.[2][3] Despite proposals for larger celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession in June 2017, including a mooted bank holiday, no such celebrations were held.[4]


A sapphire ring-shaped plaque installed at the Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre, Collier Row, Romford, England

The Sapphire Jubilee featured blue stamps from the Royal Mail, commemorative coins from the Royal Mint, and a reissue of an official 2014 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by David Bailey.[5] In this official portrait, the Queen wears sapphire jewellery which she received as a wedding present from her father.[6] In September 2017, a new community centre in Collier Row, Romford, was named the Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre in the Queen's honour.[7]

The Jubilee also involved the ringing of the bells in Westminster Abbey, a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park, a 62-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London and gun salutes in several other places around the United Kingdom.[2][8]

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, congratulated the Queen, saying in part that the occasion was "another remarkable milestone for our remarkable Queen. ... I know the nation will join with me today in celebrating and giving thanks for the lifetime of service Her Majesty the Queen has given to our country and to the Commonwealth. ... She has truly been an inspiration to all of us and I am proud, on behalf of the nation, to offer our humble thanks and congratulations on celebrating this Sapphire Jubilee."[2][9]

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, congratulated the Queen in a tweet:[10]

"Today marks the Queen’s 65th anniversary on the throne – her #SapphireJubilee. Warmest congratulations & best wishes on behalf of Canadians."

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, The Baroness Scotland of Asthal, congratulated the Queen for reaching the Sapphire Jubilee as Head of the Commonwealth and said that she has "been an inspirational monarch. It's clear how much she values the Commonwealth, how dear the Commonwealth family is to her heart, and in return how much the people of our 52 member states value and love her. ... Her wisdom, advice and wonderful support have been invaluable to me since I was elected to office in April 2016."[11]

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu also offered his congratulations, tweeting:[12]

"All the people of Israel share the congratulations we offer to Queen Elizabeth today on her 65th anniversary of accession to the throne"

A motion was introduced in the Parliament of New Zealand, by Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First, in respect of the Sapphire Jubilee of The Queen and was passed by the House. In the motion, the House congratulated the Queen of New Zealand on becoming the first monarch of New Zealand to reach a sapphire jubilee, marking 65 years on the throne.[13]

The Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake BroochEdit

At a celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial at Canada House on 19 July 2017, the Governor General of Canada David Johnston presented the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch to the Queen as a gift from the Government of Canada to celebrate the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee and to commemorate Canada 150.[14][15] David Johnston presented The Queen with the brooch moments before she and the Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a new Jubilee Walkway panel outside Canada House. The brooch was designed as a companion to the Diamond Maple Leaf brooch. The piece was made by Hillberg and Berk of Saskatchewan and consists of sapphires from a cache found in 2002 on Baffin Island by brothers Seemeega and Nowdluk Aqpik.[16]

The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee AwardsEdit

To mark the Sapphire Jubilee of the Queen, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council instituted The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee Awards to honour and support the next generation of athletes, artists, musicians, dancers and actors, who can "change the world, help and encourage them to reach their full potential and allow them to inspire the next generation."[17]

The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee Awards are awarded to young people aged between 7 and 20 years, to support them to get started, improve and excel in sport, art, dance or drama. The Award can be used to cover expenses such as equipment, coaching, travel or fees essential to their progress. The awards are presented to successful candidates at the Annual Council.[18]

A well dressing at Dore, South Yorkshire commemorating the Sapphire Jubilee of the Queen

Penhaligon's Lily of the ValleyEdit

Penhaligon's released a limited edition version of their classic Lily of the Valley perfume, to commemorate the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee. Only 65 crystal bottles were produced – one to mark each year since the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952 and the bows on every single bottle were embroidered with a number. It was announced that a percentage of the profits from this product would go towards the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.[19][20]

Pobjoy Mint Commemorative Titanium CoinsEdit

The British Pobjoy Mint released special Titanium coins featuring the Royal coat of arms to mark The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee. The obverse features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Titanium reacts differently with every strike, making each coin unique in terms of colour. The coins also feature a lined effect due to its composition.[21]

The Garrard Jubilee SapphireEdit

In 2018, the House of Garrard unveiled a 118.88ct royal blue Burmese sapphire presented in a brooch that features a signature cluster setting. The jewel was named in honour of the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, a date traditionally marked by the gift of a sapphire, and pays tribute to the House's role in remodelling the Imperial State Crown for the occasion.[22]

Sapphire Ice & Leisure CentreEdit

The Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre at Romford, England, named to honour the Sapphire Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, opened to the public on 3 February 2018. The building is five storeys high and includes an eight-lane pool for competitions and a 56m by 26m ice rink, and is home for the ice hockey team, the London Raiders. Other leisure amenities such as saunas, a state-of-the-art gym, dance studios, fitness rooms as well as cafes and retail units are provided on the upper floors. From an external viewpoint, the combination of the building’s rectangular shape and its lightweight facade were used to mimic the appearance of an ice cube.[23][24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Rayner, Gordon (29 January 2017). "The Blue Sapphire Jubilee: Queen will not celebrate 65th anniversary but instead sit in 'quiet contemplation' remembering father's death". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Furness, Hannah; Boyle, Danny (6 February 2017). "Queen makes history with Sapphire Jubilee: Royal gun salutes mark 65-year reign". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  3. ^ Silver, Dena (6 February 2017). "Queen Elizabeth Celebrates the Sapphire Jubilee With Lots of Sapphires". Observer. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Queen's Sapphire Jubilee: Call to mark milestone with bank holiday". BBC News. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  5. ^ Walker, Jonathan (11 March 2017). "Give us a bank holiday for the Queen's jubilee". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  6. ^ Burrell, Jessica (2 February 2017). "When is the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee and how will it be celebrated?". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Green credentials for new centre". The Enquirer. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  8. ^ Vonberg, Judith (6 February 2017). "Queen Elizabeth II marks 65 years on British throne". CNN. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Queen's Sapphire Jubilee: Gun salutes mark 65 years on the throne". BBC News. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  10. ^ "@JustinTrudeau - Twitter". Twitter. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Secretariat congratulates Queen on her sapphire jubilee". The Commonwealth. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
  12. ^ "@netanyahu - Twitter". Twitter. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Motions — Queen Elizabeth II—Sapphire Jubilee". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  14. ^ General, The Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "The Governor General of Canada". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  15. ^ "Canada Plus – August 2017". Global Affairs Canada, UK Embassy. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  16. ^ "A New Canadian Brooch for the Queen". The Court Jeweler. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Queen's Sapphire Jubilee Awards". One Welwyn Hatfield. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  18. ^ "The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee Awards". Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Penhaligon's Lily of the Valley perfume celebrates the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee". The Perfume Society. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  20. ^ "Smell Like Queen Elizabeth for $850 With a Limited Edition Fragrance". Observer. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  21. ^ "Titanium Coins Celebrate Queen's Sapphire Jubilee". Mintage World. 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  22. ^ "House Of Garrard Creates 118 Carat Sapphire To Mark Queen Elizabeth's 65th Jubilee". Harper's BAZAAR Arabia. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  23. ^ "Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre". Ferco Seating Systems. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  24. ^ "Sapphire Ice & Leisure". AKSWard. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2021.