Queen Elizabeth II celebrates another mileSTONE, and it’s sapphire

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of ...

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England. Credit: Library and Archives Canada/K-0000047 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates another milestone on February 6th, and it’s sapphire! She is setting a new record as the first British sovereign to celebrate the 65th anniversary of their accession. This is called the Sapphire Jubilee.

Away in Africa on a tour, Princess Elizabeth rushed back home to Britain upon hearing the sad news of her father’s death. King George VI had died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of February 6, 1952. Elizabeth left as a princess; touching down at Heathrow, she disembarked as queen.

As she celebrates 65 years as queen, let’s take a look at the list of records already shattered by Elizabeth II:

On September 9, 2015, she became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch after surpassing the reign of her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Elizabeth has lived longer than any other British monarch.

Elizabeth was the second-oldest monarch in the world, behind Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He died in October 2016 after a reign of 70 years. The queen is now the holder of the title of longest-living monarch in the world.

This year, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate 70 years of marriage, the longest British royal marriage!

The Queen has visited 116 countries in her time as monarch, more than any other British sovereign – thanks, modern aviation!

 

The Queen will have no trouble accessorizing on the day. She’s got a plethora of amazing sapphires to wear. One of her better known sapphire suites came from her father as a wedding gift – a necklace, pendant, and drop earrings. According to our friends at the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, the Queen later added a sapphire tiara and bracelet to the set.

If that isn’t enough to satiate, there’s also the Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch to add to the mix. This seems to be one of Her Majesty’s favorite brooches and she wears it frequently. It was originally a wedding gift to Queen Victoria from her “dear Albert”. It was commissioned by the Prince Consort and is surmounted by Turkish diamonds given to her in 1838 by Sultan Mahmud of Turkey.

 

 

The Queen will surely wear some small sapphire treat to honor the day. A fine hat of the deepest blue will, I’m sure, also be present for the occasion. Happy Jubilee, Your Majesty!


Celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee!

 

 

Historic Royal Palaces also has a lovely variety of items that are Jubilee-related. Check them out!

Sapphire facts:

    The sapphire is the birthstone of September babies.
    The official name of the mineral is Corundum. Rubies are also another variety of Corundum!
    During the Medieval Ages, European lapidaries came to refer to blue corundum crystal by “sapphire”, a derivative of the Latin word for blue: “sapphirus”.
    In ancient Greece and Rome, rulers believed that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm.

Queen Elizabeth II Marks Longest Reign In British History

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As promised, any major royal event that takes place will be discussed on the blog. That event is the Queen’s record-breaking reign.

Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Au...

Queen Elizabeth II, long she has reigned! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The moment that once seemed so distant has now arrived: Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history.

People all across the UK – and the world – are celebrating the Queen’s record-breaking achievement, well aware that this is not something every generation gets to do.

As a long-time fan of the Queen, I have to say that I am extremely proud of this moment. This is history that will be talked about for generations, and it is unlikely that another British monarch will reach this achievement for a very long time.

Despite this momentous occasion, the Queen herself is not celebrating the milestone. At least, not publicly. Elizabeth is sticking to her business-as-usual repertoire because A.) she doesn’t want to be seen as being triumphant over her great-great-grandmother, the venerable Queen Victoria.  We must also note that B.) the Queen IS publicly celebrating her 90th birthday next year. With barely a year between events, combined with her reverence for Victoria, Elizabeth is right in keeping this year’s milestone low-key.

Elizabeth has personified grace and decorum since her earliest days, and her time as queen is no exception. Not only is she impressive on the surface, underneath the glamour of pageantry and tiaras lies a solid work ethic and devotion to representing her people. After a life of service, it seems as though there is nothing that the Queen doesn’t know or hasn’t experienced. More to the point, it has been a life of duty and tradition under a bright spotlight, something that only a handful of people could tolerate. Where most would crack, the Queen carries on.

It is hard to say what hasn’t already been said. Reams of paper and columns of digital space have been devoted to Her Majesty’s record-breaking for days. I think, however, I can speak for all of us as I wrap up: Queen Elizabeth II has been, and will continue to
be, a distinct figure upon whom the hopes of better days can be seen. Long she has reigned, and may she continue to do so.

Why is the Queen referred to as Elizabeth II? Shouldn’t she be Queen Elizabeth III?

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No. The “numbering” of a monarch applies to those who are regnant (reigning as the sovereign). The current Queen is regnant, meaning that it was through her birthright – not her marriage – that she became Queen. It was the same situation for Queen Elizabeth I. The Queen Mother, however, held the title of Queen through her marriage to a king, making her a consort to the monarch, not a monarch herself.

Queen Elizabeth II Cancels State Visit

Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are canceling a state visit that had been planned for next month. The location of the visit has not been disclosed. The palace says the cancellation is due to other commitments, including April’s G20 summit in London.

via News Summary Royalblog.nl

The undisclosed location was, I thought, to be Ireland. Not Northern Ireland, but the Republic of Ireland. This is simply rumor, so don’t quote me.

This cancellation follows several others made by Prince Philip, who has not been well lately. I believe that he’s torn a back muscle. That’s a pretty good reason to stay home. You know what people expect of the monarchy, though: their arms could fall off, and the public would still expect them to carry on. It’s that stiff upper-lip reputation!

Member of the public: Ma’am, your arm’s come off.

Queen: Yes, yes, not to worry. It’s merely a trifle.

M.o.P.: Does it hurt?

Q: It could, but it’s simply a case of mind over matter.

M.o.P.: Well then, here’s a bouquet.

Q: Thank you! Lovely!

Michael Jackson terrified of Queen Elizabeth II

Michael Jackson, renowned nutter, is so nervous about meeting The Queen that he avoided attending the London royal premiere of ‘Casino Royale’. Despite being an enormous fan of the James Bond series, Jackson instead opted to watch the movie in his hotel room on DVD. Alone.

Honestly, I think that situation worked out better. I don’t think the Queen would be fond of coming face-to-face with Michael Jackson. So it’s ok.

Maybe Jackson was afraid that HM would discover he stole her royal crest for use as a decoration on the iron front gates of his former home?

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia will make State Visit to UK

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia are headed to the UK for a State Visit. It has been in the making for a while: the trip was announced in December 2015 and scheduled for the following March. It was then postponed due to Spain’s political turmoil happening at that time. They tried again for June 6-8 of this year, but that was canceled due to the UK’s own general election.

Happily, it’s back on for July 12-14th (i.e. next week). There will be a State banquet where, I’m sure, the glamour-factor will be through the roof. Might I add that it will be excellent to see Prince Harry escorting Felipe and Letizia to Westminster Abbey, where the king will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

There will most likely be discussion between the king and Queen Elizabeth II over Gibraltar, an area of contention between Britain and Spain. The political issue caused Queen Sofia, Felipe’s mother, to back out of Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Elizabeth II.

NOTE: Queen Victoria is the mutual connection between the Windsors and Spain’s Borbon dynasty. Queen Victoria is Felipe’s great-great-great-grandmother and Harry’s great-great-great-great-grandmother.

Queen’s “Nazi salute” photo causes outrage

I had a chance to appear on Canada’s CTV to discuss and refute the alleged Nazi salute given by the queen as a child. In 1933, then-Princess Elizabeth is shown giving what appears to be a Nazi salute along with her mother, the Duchess of York. Her uncle David, the future Edward VIII and subsequently Duke of Windsor, is also seen helping Elizabeth’s sister Margaret “salute”.

Royal Expert Mandy Littlefield reacts to the footage that has surfaced of Queen Elizabeth making the Nazi salute as a child.

Posted by CTVNewsChannel on Saturday, 18 July 2015

Operation Marriage: Queen Victoria’s German Expansion

Queen Elizabeth II’s State Visit to Germany this week has prompted a look back at her – and Philip’s – German connections. She isn’t the only royal with German roots, however. Several of Queen Victoria’s children married into German royal families and their offspring now reign in other nations. Below, how they’re linked:

Empress Friedrich+ Princess Victoria, the Princess Royal

Vicky was the headstrong eldest child of Victoria and Albert. She was clever and willing to learn, especially about Albert’s lessons in English government.  That was her driving purpose, taught to her by both parents – go to Prussia and create a united Germany based on English principles.

The royal parents married her off to Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia. It was, quite simply, a love match made in heaven. Vicky and Fritz adored each other. Sadly, Vicky’s complicated relationship with her children and her stubborn, pro-English ways made life difficult at the Prussian court. Even worse, her husband died a mere three months into his reign, leaving her a dowager with no real power. His brief time on the throne made Vicky realize that it was “frighteningly possible that Fritz’s reign would represent little more than a mere bridge between two thoroughly Prussian Williams”. [1] Their son, Kaiser Wilhelm II, would play a part in the fall of his own House of Hohenzollern.

Descent from Vicky: Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preussen; Ex-King Constantine of Greece and his sisters Queen Sofia of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece; King Felipe VI of Spain (through his mother); King Michael of Romania; Ernst August V of Hanover.

 

Princess Alice of the United Kingdom+ Princess Alice

This serious, earnest daughter of Victoria married Grand Duke Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt, a small duchy within the group of German states. During the Austro-Prussia war, Hesse-Darmstadt sided with Austria; this officially set Princess Alice against her own sister, Vicky, the Crown Princess of Prussia. In the end, the small duchy lost what little territory it had acquired to the ever-growing Prussian state.

Throughout the conflicts, Alice became a skilled nurse. Thanks to her efforts, the region saw a vast improvement to nursing practices and hospital facilities.

Sadly, the princess died of diphtheria, a dangerous illness that had already taken two of her children. Of her surviving children, young Alexandra would be most affected by Alice’s death. Alexandra would carry the emotional baggage into her marriage to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Descent from Alice: The Romanov family of Nicholas and Alexandra; Earl Mountbatten of Burma; HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Maximilian, Margrave of Baden.

 

Arthur Duke of Connaught+ Prince Arthur

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, was passionate about the military. The seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria became a soldier at age 16 and rose to the rank of Field Marshal in 1902.

Like his sister Vicky, Arthur entered into marriage with a Prussian royal, though not as high in rank. Arthur wed Princess Louise (Luise Margrete) of Prussia in 1879, and they had three children. When he was appointed as Governor General of Canada, Arthur and his family settled in the Commonwealth country for the duration of the appointment.

Arthur’s daughter, Princess Margaret, married Gustaf Adolf, Crown Prince of Sweden. Here we see another German link – Gustaf’s mother was Victoria of Baden. It is her tiara that we see on today’s Crown Princess Victoria.

Descent from Arthur: King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; Prince Bertil of Sweden; Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

 

Leopold Duke of Albany+ Prince Leopold

Leopold, Duke of Albany, was the youngest son and eighth child of Queen Victoria. He was sadly a victim of the bleeding disease hemophilia, but Leopold never let it stop him. Though he took precautions to stay safe from injury, he was described as a “strong-willed, attractive character with an immense thirst for life”. [2] The prince died at age 31 of  a brain hemorrhage after accidentally falling down a flight of stairs.

Leopold’s daughter, Alice of Albany, married her second cousin once-removed, Prince Alexander of Teck (the brother of Queen Mary). Leopold’s son, Charles, became controversial in England for his support for Germany during World War I. Worse, he became a member of the Nazi party during World War II.

 

Princess Beatrice of Battenberg+ Princess Beatrice

Beatrice, the youngest of Victoria and Albert’s children, was expected to remain a spinster and tend to her mother’s every wish. The princess’s heart had other ideas, though. Beatrice met and fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg. Their marriage the next year was no small miracle, since Victoria was totally opposed to it. She wanted to keep Beatrice to herself, but fortunately consented to the union when Beatrice promised to stay on.

Descent from Beatrice: Former King Juan Carlos of Spain; King Felipe VI of Spain (through his father).

 

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