Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen is celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee David Bailey

Queen Elizabeth II has become the first British monarch to reach her sapphire Jubilee, marking 65 years since she ascended the throne on 6 February 1952.

Accession Day, the anniversary of the date which Elizabeth became monarch, will be marked with gun salutes at the Tower of London and across the UK. A photograph of the Queen wearing sapphire jewellery given to her by her father in 1947 has been reissued to mark the occasion.

The Queen became the longest-reigning sovereign in British history in 2015, surpassing the record set by her great-great-grandmother Victoria. She acceded to the throne at the age of 25, following the death of her father King George.

On her Sapphire Jubilee, here are 50 facts to mark her reign.

  1. The Queen was born at 17 Bruton St, London W1 on 21 April 1926 and christened on 29 May 1926 in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace.
  2. She was confirmed on 28 March 1942 in the private chapel at Windsor Castle.
  3. The Queen's coronation took place on 2 July 1953.
  4. It began at 11.15am and lasted almost three hours until 2pm.
  5. An estimated 27 million people in Britain watched the Queen's coronation ceremony on TV. It was the very first coronation to be fully televised.
  6. Another 11 million listened on the radio.
  7. Queen Elizabeth II is the fortieth monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.
  8. Coronation chicken, which consists of chicken, raisins, herbs and spices with a mayonnaise-based sauce, was invented for the foreign guests who were to be entertained after the coronation ceremony.
  9. On coronation day, Her Majesty wore the George IV State Diadem, which features 1,333 diamonds and 169 pearls.
  10. During her reign, The Queen has undertaken over 256 official overseas visits to 129 different countries.
    Queen Elizabeth Sapphire Jubilee
    Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to New Zealand, March 1970 William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)
  11. The Queen speaks fluent French.
  12. During her reign of over six decades, the Queen has received various unusual gifts, including a variety of wild animals – many of which have been placed in London Zoo. Among her presents are jaguars, sloths and black beavers.
  13. Queen Elizabeth II has also received snail shells, pineapples and a grove of maple trees.
  14. The Queen is patron of more than 620 charities and organisations. (She recently relinquished some of the roles to other members of the royal family)
  15. The very first wax figure of Queen Elizabeth was displayed in Madame Tussauds in 1928 when she was two.
  16. The most recent waxwork of the Queen was displayed in 2012 to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
  17. At the age of 18, Elizabeth joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War.
  18. She became Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor and trained as a mechanic and military truck driver.
  19. She is the only living head of state in the world to have served during the Second World War.
  20. With the birth of Prince Andrew in 1960, she became the first reigning monarch to have a child since Queen Victoria.
    Queen Elizabeth II
    The Queen at her desk in Buckingham Palace after recording her Christmas Day 2016 broadcast Yui Mok
  21. On 13 June 1981, Queen Elizabeth was shot at six times by teenager Marcus Sarjeant when riding her horse, Burmese, during The Queen's Birthday Parade.
  22. In 1992, the Queen issued a writ against The Sun newspaper after it published her Christmas broadcast in full before its transmission.
  23. Queen Elizabeth became the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee at the age of 76 in 2002.
  24. Her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, died the same year at the age of 101.
  25. More than one million mourners gathered outside Westminster Abbey for her state funeral.
  26. The Queen has two birthdays - Her actual birthday - 21 April - and her official birthday, which is held on a Saturday in June.
  27. Her Majesty's Imperial State Crown is made up of 2,868 diamonds.
  28. Her Majesty has sat for over 130 official portraits.
  29. She attended the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.
  30. The Queen attended the 1953 FA Cup final.
    Queen Elizabeth II
    Her Majesty has sat for over 130 official portraits Justin Tallis/ AFP
  31. In November 2017, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
  32. Elizabeth and Philip are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria.
  33. Their engagement had been announced in 9 July, 1947.
  34. Her wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold.
  35. The Queen needed to use ration coupons to buy the material for her wedding dress.
  36. The Queen and her husband have four children: Prince Charles and Princess Anne, who were born before Elizabeth became queen, and Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
  37. The Queen is is five feet four inches tall.
  38. Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain, baked The Queen's 90th birthday cake.
  39. The Queen's first-ever radio broadcast was back in 1940, when she gave her support to children affected by World War Two.
  40. The Queen is the recipient of an honorary Bafta.
    Queen and Prince Phillip wedding
    Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip after their wedding ceremony on 20 November 1947 AFP/Getty Images
  41. She was the first British Monarch to travel to the Middle East.
  42. She was called "Lilibet" by her close family.
  43. She travelled on the London Underground for the first time in May 1939.
  44. She sent a message of congratulations to Apollo 11 astronauts for the first Moon landing in 1969.
  45. Her favourite breed of dog is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
  46. The Queen has launched 21 ships during her reign.
  47. She became the first reigning monarch to win Royal Ascot's Gold Cup in 2013.
  48. The Queen does not need a passport to travel.
  49. She has visited the set of Eastenders.
  50. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 at the age of 86.