Platinum Jubilee stamp (CNW Group/Canada Post)

The Queen has begun her platinum jubilee year, marking a 70-year reign that now makes her the longest-ruling monarch in British and Commonwealth history.

King George VI died on the morning of Feb. 6, 1952 while Princess Elizabeth was in Kenya. She acceded to the throne immediately upon his death, though did not enjoy an official coronation until the following year.

“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,” the Queen said in a statement.

She said she has been fortunate to have had the loving support of family, and was blessed that in Prince Philip she had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort until his death last year.

“And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service,” she wrote.

Canada Post has unveiled a new stamp to commemorate the platinum jubilee.

As Canada’s head of state, the Queen has been featured on more than 70 Canadian stamps that have been issued for royal visits, historical events and her previous silver, golden and diamond jubilees.

By Kevin Bissett
The Canadian Press