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QUEEN ELIZABETH - THE LONGEST SERVING MONARCH

Her longevity is a great source of her strength and popularity

It is a significant milestone, her majesty the Queen has made history; she becomes the longest reigning British monarch as she passed the record set on the 9th of September by her greatgreat- grandmother Queen Victoria who, Buckingham Palace has calculated, reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes. “The Queen’s longevity is a great source of her strength and popularity. She has lived through World War Two and throughout the 20th century. Many people will not have known a different British monarch.”

Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II when she was 25 on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952. Like Victoria, she has acted as a figure of  continuity as the country has modernized. She has served, with Philip at her side, through the 20th century, the Millennium and into the 21st century, witnessing new technological advances and a succession of British governments of different political persuasions.

The Queen has become accustomed to countless milestones during her decades on the throne. In December 2007, she became the longest living British monarch, overtaking Victoria who died when she was 81, and in May 2011, she became the second-longest reigning monarch in British history, when she overtook George III. According to Guinness World Records, the Queen also holds the world record for most currencies featuring the same individual. The Queen is also the first British Monarch to have sent an email, to have a message put on the moon, have conducted a royal “walkabout” and to have held a public concert in her back garden.

Due to the Queen’s respect for her ancestor Victoria, who died in 1901, aged 81, there wasn’t any official celebration of the  milestone, Instead, attention at the Palace is being directed towards preparations for the Queen’s 90th birthday festivities in April next year. The main event will see 10,000 selected guests – mostly representatives of the Queen’s charities – take part in a massive “street party” near Buckingham Palace. The monarch, was joined on the day by the Duke of Edinburgh, opened the new Scottish Borders Railway and take a steam train ride on the new £294 million railway from Edinburgh to Tweedbank and tribute charting sovereign’s life in pictures marked the day Queen Elizabeth II overtakes Victoria as Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Photographs of the Queen from her earliest days on the throne to her appearance at this year’s Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor formed the exhibition that marked her becoming the UK’s longest-serving monarch.

The formal photographs taken over the decades include a black and white portrait by Dorothy Wilding in February 1952, and Julian Calder’s striking image of her on Scottish moorland as Queen of Scots, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle and Chief of the Chiefs, in 2010. Portrait of the Queen with her Highland Ponies, Windsor 2006, part of the Long to Reign Over Us, The Queen at her coronation, on 2 June 1953, by a photographic exhibition at three royal Palaces.

A souvenir album of more than 250 photos was also on sale, together with the range of china, which is inspired by the 1953 coronation programme.

 

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