The Queen Gave a Sweet Nod to Her Father While Marking 70 Years as Monarch

Her jewelry choice is a reminder that the Diamond Jubilee is a bittersweet occasion for the Queen.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

This Sunday marks a huge day for the royal family and the British people: February 6, 2022, makes it 70 years to the day since Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, the country’s longest-ruling monarch ever. While Britons will spend the year celebrating Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee with a variety of parades, bank holidays, and awards ceremonies, the Queen herself prepared for the occasion in a much quieter way—while also paying homage to her father, King George VI. 

While most of the year will be sent in jubilant celebration of the Queen, the actual anniversary of her ascension is likely more bittersweet for Her Majesty. In photographs released by the Palace, she perfectly balances these two ideas. Set in the Oak Room of Windsor Palace, the Queen can be seen poring over old photographs from her Golden Jubilee and throughout her reign, while surrounded by cards from well-wishers. She’s shown smiling as she flips through a book of the cards, and there are even some adorable images in which she’s interrupted by her dorgi (that’s a dachshund-corgi mix), Candy. Per the Daily Mail, media onlookers at the viewing reported that she told the dog, “And where did you come from? I know what you want.” (Referring, of course, to a dog treat—even royal dogs are still dogs.)

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The Queen, in the brooches, reading cards from well-wishers.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And while the mood at Windsor was obviously celebratory, the Queen’s brooches revealed the mixed emotions of the day. The aquamarine and diamond pieces, which the Queen wore set apart on her turquoise outfit, were gifts from her father—whom she called ‘Papa’—on her 18th birthday. It’s a sweet, quiet nod to the man whose death made her Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II officially ascended the throne when she was 27, receiving news that her beloved father had passed away suddenly while she was on a trip to Africa in February 1952. Because she had failed to anticipate the need to appear in mourning—and knew that dozens of photographers would be at the airport to photograph her coming off the plane, the new Queen of England—she ended up having to send someone to retrieve a black outfit. (The situation is the reason behind the now-long standing royal protocol that requires royal family members to pack a black outfit on any trips, in case the need to attend a funeral arises.)

We know that the Queen's brooches have many hidden meanings, so the jewelry choice she made on this occasion isn't a coincidence, but a reminder of the circumstances around her ascension, and a tribute to her father and his reign as she prepares to celebrate her own.