A portrait of the Queen by British photographer David Bailey has been reissued for her Sapphire Jubilee, marking 65 years on the throne. In the photo, the Queen wears sapphire jewellery given to her by King George VI as a wedding gift in 1947. The Queen has become the first British monarch to reach a sapphire jubilee.
Palais Edinburg, Coburg
After a short breathing time we are again beginning a life of anxiety, as Ali starts today for Morocco. It suddenly has begun again there, though a soit disant peace was made and Ali was going to stay a fortnight longer. Now he has to hurry back, as all officers were recalled and nothing has been done for him by Alfonso, on the contrary, we have discovered from very sure sources new infamies that he spreads about his cousin, so as not to call him back to Spain as Infante. He pretends that Ali tried to get out of the first big fight by pretending to be ill at Melilla! Now we are going to get material against Alfonso through diplomatical sources and I have already written to the Russian Ambassador at Madrid. It cannot last longer as those infamies will never end, until they succeed to get Ali killed, I think it would be an immense relief to Alfonso. He is absolutely a vile character, holds no promises, never sticks to his word and is very jealous besides. It seems that now, he cannot stand Ali being popular in the army and therefore he tries to blacken his character in every way. Of course his entourage keeps him up in those ideas, as no doubt they don’t want to have the Ali’s back: he is energetic and clever in a way and sister dear is feared on account of her sharp tongue, so goodness only knows what it is all going to end. But if we get high and mighty relations to bear down upon Alfonso, he might get a great fright, because he is full of vain glory and would smart under Imperial and Royal disapprovals of his conduct. I am going to stop at nothing now though I have no personal relations with Alfonso or his mother since Baby’s marriage. But I know that they are afraid of me and always apprehend some new outburst. Their consciences are uneasy. But even Aunt Beatrice wrote now, that there were intrigues against Ali, which meant an enormous effort on her part as she adores Alfonso and would never admit a word said against him. She even behaved nastily, considering her soit disant love for Baby. I gathered a good bit of information through Ali’s hideous little brother, who also goes today. He is the only one who tackles Alfonso, as he is not serving and has not much to lose. He says, that he considers Alfonso absolutely stupid and inconsequent in all his doings, he won’t admit that he is in the least intelligent and proud and absurd to a degree. He has just seen him and talked very openly to him. He says that he is quite hopeless, for he never sticks to his word and has no idea of honour or gentlemanly conduct. Luis is widerlich  as person, but not stupid and certainly can be very amusing in comparison with the Battenberg boys, who are so absolutely pas cultivé, that one might as well talk to babies. Thank God that Carol is intelligent and so full of interests, as it makes life so much easier and for a man and prince it is invaluable. Luckily Poldi at least is fond of music and through Fichtner we arranged for him every day a small orchestra, where he played the flute and Maurice the big drum! Yesterday they performed before the Red Cross sisters, to whom Baby gives annually a big tea under the Christmas tree, which we keep in the dining room table till my Christmas. We were quite jolly until this unexpected war news came again, it feel like a black cloud upon our small company. . . Continue reading
Dearest Missy,2011, pp.235-236 ©Diana Mandache
Schloss Rosenau, Coburg, 29 September 1895
Many thanks for your last letter. You seemed terribly agacée with Aunt and I can understand it, but what is to be done? If one thinks that she is positively mad, it is perhaps easier to bear. But then one might say, that if she was an ordinary person, she would have been probably shut up, or at least put under restraint. The misfortune is that at Sinaia you must live so close to her, in town you will feel it less when you have your own entirely separate home. I always thought that it would be much wiser if you could establish yourself at least part of the year near Jassy, where Nando has a place of his own. Every year you will find it more difficult to put up with Aunt, for she cannot improve, she will even probably become more and more odd as years go on and more and more trying as the children grow up. But then you will have Cotroceni to stay at as long as you like and you must also make it a rule to come abroad every year to refresh yourself. Does Uncle not understand how you must suffer under Aunt, or he pretends not to? Yet he knows well enough how mad she really is and could he not help you to keep away from her as much as possible? Why not talk with him quite openly? Cannot your father-in-law help you? It must be a comfort having him there. Think of the delight of having your own house in winter!
I have very little to relate now as we are perfectly alone at the Rosenau, Papa gone to the Tyrol, Erni H. also gone to the mountains, to his father’s place. He was terribly sad to leave; even cried, but his father wanted him for the shooting and he is too good a son to disappoint his Papa. Sandra is cheerful and very content, writes to him every day and looks forward to his coming back very soon. We have always the most heavenly weather and are not thinking yet of leaving for town. I am writing in the garden, we even dine out of doors, which we never have done yet the last days of September. I read now a great deal with sisters and enjoy this quiet and peaceful life very much. Only it is too terribly dry and will soon become a calamity as the water is drying out in many places. We go sometimes to the theatre, as the evening drives are delightful now. For Alfred’s birthday we are going to have a quite big ball and I hope that Ernie and Ducky will come. Sandra’s marriage is not to be before next summer, as we cannot well manage it before with the Coronation and the visit to England. But I hope that Papa will consent to go to England in April and have the marriage in June, when we come back from Russia, instead of going to England then. One must not try his patience too much, as it is rather hard for young men to wait so long. I like him every day more, he is really extremely nice and Sandra is to be envied for her good luck. I must now stop with many tender kisses. Could I only help you with Aunt, but one is powerless when one has to do with a mad woman who is not shut up!
Your old Mama
The Queen was described as a ‘beacon of womankind’ by celebrity photographer Mary McCartney who captured the image of her sitting at a desk in Buckingham Palace working on matters of state.
Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain’s longest-reigning monarch later when she passes the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. The Queen will have reigned for 63 years and seven months – calculated at 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes at about 17:30 BST. (via BBC)
Long may she reign!