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Her Majesty becomes the longest reigning monarch in Britain today, having been on the throne for 63 years and 7 months. We look back at these rarely seen photographs from over the years...
Today marks an important day in history – Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in Britain. The Queen, 89, succeeded the throne at the tender age of 25, meaning today she will have ruled over Britain for 63 years and 7 months. She will surpass her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who had previously held the record. At approximately 5.30pm, she will have reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – and she has done an amazing job throughout this time.
PM David Cameron tweeted: ‘Over the last 63 years, Her Majesty has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change’. Indeed, Queen Elizabeth has surpassed many world rulers; she has remained a constant figurehead in Britain through the fall of empire, the fall of communism, civil rights movements and huge social change.
Despite being a figurehead with no direct political rule, she has such a huge presence and influence in the world. She is the sovereign of 15 commonwealth realms in addition to the UK, and Head of State for 138 million people. She is adored by many across the globe, and has been praised for her commitment to philanthropy and her people.
Rather than holding a huge celebration, the Queen has insisted this day should be ‘business as usual’, as she is currently in Scotland to open the Scottish Borders Railway and take a steam train ride with Nicola Sturgeon. She is pictured here in Scotland, looking absolutely lovely in a blue coat and hat.
Although Her Majesty may be carrying on as usual, we can’t help feeling patriotic on this historic day. So join us as we take a look back at some beautiful, intimate photos of the Queen throughout the years, which perfectly summarise how wonderful she is, and indeed, how loved. But first, click for more news about the Queen’s great milestone…
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth made a brief speech as she declared the Scottish Borders Railway open.
She said: "we are very grateful for the warmth of your welcome on this occasion. Many, including you, First Minister [Nicola Sturgeon], have noted another signficiance attached to today, although it is not one to which I have ever aspired. Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception".
She followed this humble acceptance of gratitude by thanking people from around the world for their "touching messages of great kindness".
This official photo was released today as a celebration of her setting the record of longest-reigning British monarch, taken by Mary McCartney (Paul McCartney's daughter!) God save the Queen!
Click for some wonderful pictures of the Queen through the ages, showing how lovely and loved she has been.
Her Majesty looks happy as can be in a gorgeous red coat and hat, holding some flowers at the Braemar Highland Gathering in Scotland earlier this month.
Her Majesty looks thrilled as she enters the Maternity Ward at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, to visit Lady Diana Princess of Wales and her newborn grandson, Prince William, in 1982.
Her Majesty is a proud Grandma in a gorgeous camel coat with fur lining, as she smiles at her grandson Prince Harry while attending the Passing-Out Sovereign's Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy, Surrey, in 2006.
What a loving family - Elizabeth looks beautiful and casual as she poses for a photograph in 1951 with her husband Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh and her two young children, Charles and Anne, who seems to be fascinated with Phillip's chin!
The Queen enjoys the rain at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Berkshire in 2007.
An adorable four-year-old Elizabeth gathers flowers in her garden.
The Queen is captured in her element - surrounded by her pet corgis. The snap was taken at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1960.
Yet more proof that Elizabeth loves her dogs - this photo was taken of the young princess as she cuddled her corgi in 1937.
Queen Elizabeth smiles after being handed some hand-picked flowers from an 8-year old girl in Glasgow in 1979.
Her Majesty gazes out of her carriage window as she travels from Buckingham Palace to the state opening of Parliament in 2002.
Queen Elizabeth may be our Queen - but she's also a lovely grandmother. Here she is pictured with her granddaughter Zara Phillips (aged 3) on her knee at Smith's Lawn, watching her daughter (and Zara's mother) Princess Anne ride her horse in a display in 1984.
The Queen stands on the steps at Windsor Castle with her two young children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne in 1953.
(Credit: Reginald Davis/REX Shutterstock)
Queen Elizabeth spent over an hour riding before she took this horse back to the stable at Windsor in 2007.
This candid photo was snapped in 1955, showing the Queen listening intently to politician Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery, at Epsom Derby Day.
Her Majesty holds a camera as she kneels on the floor, watching the cross country at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1976.
(Credit: Reginald Davis/REX Shutterstock)
The Queen donned her riding gear as she sat on a horse on the 53rd anniversary of her coronation in Windsor, 2006.
The Queen looks fantastic in a stunning bright pink outfit as she meets schoolchildren at the Chester Zoo during her Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012.
Queen Elizabeth can barely contain her joy as she models a stunning £1 million pound diamond and pearl six-string necklace, gifted to her by Amir when she paid a state visit to Qatar. She is pictured on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1979.
(Credit: Reginald Davis/REX Features)
The Queen is pictured here on Derby Day in 1954, socialising alongside her husband Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh.