Queen Elizabeth Shares Rare Personal Message & New Portrait to Mark 70 Years on the Throne

It's a very important day for Queen Elizabeth II, who just made history as the first British royal to spend 70 years on the throne.

While Her Royal Majesty will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee later this year, today is Accession Day, which marks the day Elizabeth took over as queen on February 6, 1952.

To coincide with this historic moment, the queen posted a rare personal message to the royal family Instagram account, where she echoes a sentiment that she expressed long before she ever became Queen.

In the queen's Accession Day message (which can be read in full here), she said, “Tomorrow, 6th February, marks the 70th anniversary of my Accession in 1952. It is a day that, even after 70 years, I still remember as much for the death of my father, King George VI, as for the start of my reign. As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service.”

This final phrase was shared to the royal family Instagram and it was signed “Elizabeth R.” In the caption, they offered context, saying, “She references the broadcast she made on her 21st birthday in which she pledged her life’s work to the people of the Commonwealth with the words: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.’”

The queen's message continued on a positive note, where she said, “As I look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism to the year of my Platinum Jubilee, I am reminded of how much we can be thankful for. These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that have benefitted us all; and I am confident that the future will offer similar opportunities to us and especially to the younger generations in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth.”

But this letter wasn't the only treat for royal followers today. The royal family also posted a brand new portrait of the queen to Instagram, where they said, “This photograph has been released to mark Accession Day 2022: the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s reign and the start of her Platinum Jubilee year.”

They continued, “Her Majesty is seen with one of her famous red boxes. Over the past 70 years, The Queen has received daily papers from her Private Secretaries, in person or via a red despatch box. The boxes hold documents updating Her Majesty on events in Parliament as well as overseas and Commonwealth matters, and State papers requiring her signature and Royal assent.”

Following the new photo, they shared a series of vintage snaps, where Her Royal Majesty sits with her various red boxes in 1959, 1972, 1977 and 2015.

Apparently, there was a special meaning to the queen's accessories in her new portrait as well. In the caption, they said, “The Queen is wearing two diamond ivy leaf clips, which were a gift from The Queen Mother for the then Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday.”

Congrats, Queen Elizabeth!

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...