This is so amazing!

The Queen today marks 65 years since her ascension to the throne. And the official portrait of Her Majesty –  a re-release of the image taken by British photographer David Bailey in 2014 – shows her in all her regal glory.

And as HRH steps into the future she has made the most touching tribute to her past. The Queen is wearing a suite of sapphire jewellery given to her by her late father King George V1 as a wedding gift in 1947. Revealing the sentiment behind the gesture Royal historian and author Robert Lacey told PEOPLE:

“She’s naturally shy and is the opposite of showy. And, of course, the anniversaries of the accession remind her of her father’s premature death.”

The importance placed on this token of affection, is demonstrated by the fact that the Queen commissioned a bracelet and rings to accompany the set in 1963. This move seemed out of character for her highness, as she reportedly doesn’t like drawing attention to her hands. The jewels were also the first of the George VI sapphire collection to go into the royal vault.

King George V1 passed away on this day in 1952 at the age of 56, and the Queen is bound to have this pivotal moment on her mind as she spends her Sapphire Jubilee at Sandringham. Aged just 25 at the time of his death, the Queen’s pain and heartache at the news can be felt clearly in a letter penned to King George VI’s former assistant private secretary Sir Eric Mieville on March 3rd 1952.

In it she writes:

“It all seems so unbelievable still that my father is no longer here and it is only after some time has passed one begins to realise how much he is missed.”

Written on ‘mourning’ paper with black edging, the letter also reveals the comfort the young Elizabeth took in the support of her family, saying:

“My mother and sister have been wonderful, for they have lost so much – I do have my own family to help me.”

And it seems that the Queen’s low-key celebration on becoming Britain’s longest-serving monarch – and the first to reach the 65-year-milestone – may reflect her ongoing attempts to honour her late father’s memory. Lacey confirms the idea that for HRH it’s all about deflecting attention away from herself and only coming to the fore when needed.

“There is only so many of these landmark dates that people will want to mark. I”m sure she would rather people were asking why isn’t it being celebrated rather than, ‘Oh no, not another royal anniversary.’ She always plays safe — and that is a good instinct.”

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