Queen Elizabeth II has released a brand-new portrait for her Platinum Jubilee! The specially commissioned photograph was unveiled on June 1 and shows the smiling 96-year-old monarch sitting on a bench below a window in Windsor Castle’s Victoria Vestibule, per Today. The Queen looked elegant but relaxed in a light blue wool coat and skirt set. The set, which was designed by Angela Kelly, had embroidered white embellishments lining the opening of the jacket and the neckline. Queen Elizabeth II accessorized with two pearl necklaces and her engagement ring from her late husband, Prince Philip. The photo was captured on May 25 and shows a statue of King Charles II in the background. Ranald Mackechnie, who has photographed the royal family twice before, was tapped to take the special portrait.
The portrait was also released with a personal note from the reigning queen. “Thank you to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbors and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee, in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth. I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions,” she said. “I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
The Platinum Jubilee celebrates the Queen’s 70th year on the throne of England. She is the first British ruler to reign for seven decades. While several events have already occurred throughout the year, the official celebration takes place between June 2 and June 5. On May15, Queen Elizabeth attended a Platinum Jubilee Celebration at Windsor Castle, which hosted an event called “A Gallop Through History,” which brought together 1,300 performers and 500 horses to act out the story of her history-making reign.
A traditional part of a jubilee celebration (Queen Elizabeth has enjoyed five celebrations, but the biggest two prior to her Platinum Jubilee were the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and the Golden Jubilee in 2002), is the royal tour the Queen makes around the United Kingdom to visit her people. However, the aging queen has begun to share her duties with various members of the royal family. Instead, Prince William, 39, and Kate Middleton, 40, the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, were tapped with visiting Wales, where they formerly lived, per People. Princess Anne, 71, Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter, was scheduled to visit Scotland, and Prince Edward, 58, and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, 57, were given the duty to travel to Northern Ireland.
Some events scheduled for the upcoming celebrations include Trooping the Colour, the lighting of Platinum Jubilee beacons, a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Derby at Epsom Downs, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. One of the most popular events, when Queen Elizabeth salutes the crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, is scheduled for June 2, per The Telegraph. Only working members of the British royal family will stand next to the Queen on the balcony.
Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, arrived in the UK with their 3-year-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, and nearly 1-year-old daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, on June 1, according to Page Six. While they will not be included in large events attended by senior members of the royal family, they were invited to church services for the celebrations. It is the first time the family will be present in the UK as an entire unit since stepping down as working members of the royal family and moving to California in 2020.