Queen Elizabeth II – Becomes Longest-Reigning Monarch in Great Britain’s History
Congratulations Queen Elizabeth!
The Queen has received a rapturous welcome in Edinburgh on the day she became Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
With the Duke of Edinburgh by her side, she arrived at the city’s Waverley Station to begin her journey on the new £294 million Scottish Borders Railway which she will officially open.
September 9 is a historic day for the Queen, who has already received tributes from Prime Minister David Cameron and others highlighting the milestone in her reign.
She will deliver a speech at the opening of the railway and is likely to make an oblique reference to the landmark, which sees her eclipse the record of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
The milestone is tinged with sadness for the Queen as its calculation is linked to the deaths of her father, King George VI, and Victoria.
Royal historian Hugo Vickers said: “I think it’s really rather like a terribly rare eclipse of the sun. This date will probably never be passed again. It’s completely remarkable.
“When Queen Victoria out-reigned George III in 1896, she was already an old lady, very rarely seen, whereas our Queen is firing on all cylinders.
“We’re incredibly lucky. It’s remarkable achievement.”
The Queen’s reign has been defined by her dedication to duty and strong belief in her role as the nation’s monarch.
Stoical, composed, pragmatic, private and with an unshakeable Christian faith, she is one of the most famous figures on the planet.
As head of state, the armed forces and the Church of England, the Queen is at the centre of national life but she is also a wife with more than 67 years of marriage under her belt, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Looking forward to her destiny she pledged to serve the Commonwealth in a radio broadcast made in 1947 when Princess Elizabeth: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
The exact moment the Queen passes Victoria’s milestone is not known as there is no precise time for the death of her father who died in the early hours of February 6 1952.
But it is thought he probably died at 1am so at around 5.30pm the Queen will make history as Buckingham Palace has calculated she will have reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes, a few minutes longer than Victoria.
In keeping with her “no fuss” approach, the Queen was prepared to spend the momentous day carrying out a public engagement opening the railway.
During their journey on the new service, the Queen and Philip will travel with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a carriage drawn by the steam locomotive Union of South Africa.
5 fun facts about Our Queen:
CORGIS, SWANS, ROYAL FISH
Elizabeth’s love of the corgi is well known. Her father, George VI, introduced the breed to the royal famiy in 1933 when he bought a corgi called Dookie. The animal proved popular with his daughters, and the queen was given her first corgi, Susan, for her 18th birthday. She has owned over 30 corgis during her reign — many were direct descendants from Susan.
Elizabeth also introduced a new breed of dog known as the “dorgi” when one of her corgis was mated with a dachshund named Pipkin.
As monarch, Elizabeth technically owns all the thousands of pairs of mute swans in open British water, and an annual census dating back to the 12th century — “Swan Upping” — takes place every year in southern England. The queen also officially has the right to claim all “Royal Fish” — sturgeons, porpoises, whales and dolphins — according to a statute from 1324.
Elizabeth often gives the impression of seriousness and many have noted her “poker face.” But those who know her describe her as having a relaxed sense of humor and a talent for mimicry in private company.
Bishop Michael Mann, the monarch’s domestic chaplain, once said that “the queen imitating the Concorde landing is one of the funniest things you could see.” Ian Paisley, the Northern Irish clergyman and politician, also noted that Elizabeth was a “great mimicker” of him.
Royal commentator Hugo Vickers, who has met the queen several times, describes her as “quite fun” and much more well-informed than one would expect.
“Once I suddenly said something completely obscure” about a New Zealand Maori chief, he said. “She knew exactly what I was talking about.”
POLITICIANS AND POPES
Over her reign Elizabeth has given regular Tuesday evening audiences to 12 British prime ministers, from Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron. Tony Blair is the first prime minister to have been born during the queen’s reign. Thatcher served the longest, more than 11 years.
Elizabeth’s reign also oversaw seven popes, from Pius XII to Francis. As the titular head of the Church of England, the queen received John Paul II at Buckingham Palace in 1982 — the first pope to visit Britain for 450 years. She also received Benedict XVI to Britain in 2010.
It’s safe to say that Elizabeth has traveled more than any other monarch in history. Since her first official overseas visit to South Africa in 1947, she has made hundreds more trips to more than 110 countries. Among her most visited are her “major realms”: 24 times to Canada, 16 to Australia, 10 to New Zealand and six to Jamaica.
Elizabeth was the first British monarch to have made state visits to China (1986), Russia (1994), and Brunei and Malaysia (1998). She was also the first British monarch to have set foot in the Republic of Ireland since the 1911 tour by her grandfather, George V.
At 89 the queen is still traveling — in November, she plans to fly to Malta for a Commonwealth event.
HALL OF FAME
Elizabeth is the longest-reigning female monarch in the world today. Her years on the throne are second only to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, 87, the world’s current longest-serving head of state. The king, who came to the throne in 1946, has reigned for 69 years and is widely revered by Thais.
Other current heads of state who have reigned for more than 50 years include 87-year-old Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, the constitutional monarch of Malaysia.
Life in Pictures:
1926 – Born April 21
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is born in Mayfair, London on April 21. Her father the Duke of York is second in line to the British throne, meaning that Elizabeth initially has little prospect of taking the crown herself. She is nicknamed Lillibet by her close family.
1930 – Princess Margaret born
Elizabeth gets a younger sister. The Duchess of York gives birth to Princess Margaret Rose on Aug. 21 at Glamis Castle, Scotland.
1937 – King George VI crowned
The Duke of York becomes king after his brother, Edward VIII, abdicates in order to marry an American divorcee. Given the title King George VI, he was a shy figure who suffered from a stammer and had never expected to take the throne.
1945 – World War II service
The 18-year-old Princess Elizabeth helps Britain’s efforts in World War II when she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary Second Subaltern. She trained as a military truck driver and mechanic, before being promoted to Junior Commander five months later. She is the last surviving head of state to have served during World War II.
1947- Elizabeth marries
Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who was born into the Danish and Greek royal families. The ceremony includes eight bridesmaids and a nine-foot-high wedding cake, and the couple receive over 2,500 wedding presents. Philip, now Duke of Edinburgh, is currently the longest-serving and oldest royal consort.
1948 – Charles born
Elizabeth gives birth to her first son and heir, Prince Charles, on Nov. 14. He is christened one month and one day later in the Buckingham Palace music room, using water from the River Jordan.
1950 – Princess Anne born
Elizabeth gives birth to her only daughter, Princess Anne, in Clarence House.
1952 – Coronation
Following the death of her father, George VI, Elizabeth is crowned Queen in a lavish coronation ceremony attended by more than 8,000 guests in Westminster Abbey on June 2. More than a million people line the streets of London to cheer the new monarch.
1960 – Prince Andrew born
The Queen’s third child, Prince Andrew, is born on Feb. 19 in Buckingham Palace. Named after his paternal grandfather, Andrew is the first child to be born to a reigning British monarch since Queen Victoria gave birth to her youngest daughter Beatrice in 1857.
1964 – Prince Edward born
The Queen gives birth to her fourth and final child, Prince Edward, on March 10 at Buckingham Palace.
1973 – Princess Anne marries
Princess Anne becomes the first of Elizabeth’s children to marry when she weds Captain Mark Phillips on Nov. 14. However, the wedding is overshadowed as a State of Emergency is declared on the same day due to industrial action and rising unemployment and inflation in the UK.
1977 – Silver Jubilee
The Queen celebrates 25 years on the throne with a series of events to mark her Silver Jubilee, culminating in hundreds of street parties and special services to mark the anniversary of her coronation.
1981 – Charles and Diana’s wedding
Amid great fanfare and excitement at St Paul’s Cathedral, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, marries Lady Diana Spencer, the woman expected to become his Queen. Billed as the ‘wedding of the century’, it’s watched by a global audience of 750 million people.
1992 – Annus horribilis
The Queen experiences what she referred to as her ‘annus horribilis’ (horrible year) in 1992. Prince Charles and Prince Andrew’s marriages both break down, Princess Anne divorces and large parts of Windsor Castle fall victim to a major fire, which destroys many priceless artefacts.
1997 – Death of Diana
The royal family is thrown into turmoil following the sudden and tragic death of Prince Charles’ ex-wife, Princess Diana, in Paris on Aug. 31. The Queen initially sparks criticism by keeping a low profile, but eventually boosts the public mood by giving a broadcast speaking to the grieving nation.
2001 – Family deaths
The Queen mourns the deaths of two close family members in quick succession. Her sister, Princess Margaret, passes away aged 71 following an illness, while The Queen Mother dies of old age at 101.
2002 – Golden Jubilee
The Queen marks the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne with a series of celebrations around the world, which include two concerts held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
2006 – Prince Charles remarries
Prince Charles marries for a second time when he weds his long term sweetheart, Camilla Parker-Bowles, at the Guildhall in Windsor. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh do not attend the ceremony, but do attend a service of blessing and reception at Windsor Castle.
2006 – 80th birthday
The Queen celebrates her 80th birthday. She receives over 20,000 cards and her presents include a china tea set given by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
2007 – 60th wedding anniversary
The Queen celebrates 60 years of marriage to Prince Philip. She becomes the first British monarch to mark a diamond wedding anniversary.
William and Catherine’s wedding
On April 29, 2011 Prince William, the Queen’s third-eldest grandchild and second in line to the throne, marries Catherine Middleton. They take the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
London 2012 Summer Olympics
Queen Elizabeth becomes a ‘Bond girl’ at the age of 86 when she stars alongside Daniel Craig in a skit performed as part of the opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The show climaxes with the ‘Queen’ appearing to enter the stadium by leaping out from a helicopter.
2013 – Prince George
The Queen now has five great-grandchildren, including Prince George (center) who, as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is third in line to the throne. The young family are pictured here with the Queen (right) in 2013.
2015 – Princess Charlotte
The Queen’s fifth great-grandchild Princess Charlotte, the second daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is born on May 2, 2015. She is fourth in line to succession to the throne.
(Pictured) Britain’s Princess Charlotte being held by her brother, 2-year-old, Prince George.
The Queen, who turned 89 on her actual birthday on April 21, 2015, celebrates her official birthday on June 13, 2015 with a military parade and the tradition of awarding honors – such as knighthoods or chivalric orders – for achievements or merit.
Queen of 16 different countries
Today, in addition to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Elizabeth is also Queen of Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Source: MSN News