The Queen made history when she became the first British monarch to reach 65 years on the throne last month. And now politicians are rallying to celebrate her remarkable milestone with calls for a national holiday – in other words, an extra bank holiday. Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell said it would be a "missed opportunity" if the country didn't hold an official celebration to celebrate the royal's Sapphire Jubilee, and suggested a summer date to tie in with the Queen's coronation anniversary in June.
"It's almost certainly going to be a very long time before any monarch gets anywhere near 65 years," Mr Rosindell told the Press Association. "It's the first time we've had any Sapphire Jubilee and if we let this go by and don't have some sort of national day of celebration, it'll be a missed opportunity." He added: "It's also for the young people – I remember the Silver Jubilee as a kid and learnt how important these national occasions are."
The Queen at her Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977
Last week Mr Rosindell was given time to introduce his Queen's Sapphire Jubilee Bill into the Commons, which seeks to guarantee in law a celebration across the UK, its overseas territories and Crown dependencies. It sounds like the politician has made some progress, as he added: "I have personally spoken to Theresa May about the idea and she was certainly positive in her approach to this. I hope the government will put some ideas to Her Majesty for her agreement and hopefully in June have a celebration."
Politicians are calling for an extra bank holiday in June
He went on to note that because the Queen is a "very modest person" who may not want or expect grand celebrations, he wouldn't want to do anything against her wishes. Extra bank holidays have been granted in the past, including one in 2012 when Her Majesty reached her Diamond Jubilee. Similarly, the nation was given the day off when Prince William and Kate tied the knot in April 2011.
In February, the Queen marked her Sapphire Jubilee, although the mother-of-four chose not to hold any public celebrations or schedule any official engagements. Instead, she spent the day in private with her husband Prince Philip, no doubt reflecting on the moment she became Queen after her father King George VI passed away. Princess Elizabeth, as she was then known, was on an official tour in Kenya when she received the sad news in February 1952. Her coronation took place 15 months later in June 1953.