Queen Elizabeth II becomes UK’s longest-reigning monarch


Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne aged just 25 as her exhausted country struggled to recover from the ravages of World War Two, made history on Wednesday when she became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Queen Elizabeth, who now aged 89 is also the nation’s oldest ever monarch, surpassed the 63 years, 7 months, 2 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes that her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne.

British Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the queen.

“Over the last 63 years, Her Majesty has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change and her selfless sense of service and duty has earned admiration not only in Britain, but right across the globe,” Cameron said.

“It is only right that today we should celebrate her extraordinary record, as well as the grace and dignity with which she serves our country.”

Those close to the queen say she is fairly blase about the milestone, believing it represents little more than the fact she has lived for a long time.

“It’s business as usual as far as she is concerned,” said one senior aide.

Initially she did not even intend to mark the event publicly, but she has bowed to public pressure and will now undertake an official engagement in Scotland, where she traditionally spends her Summer holiday.

Along with her husband Prince Philip, who has been at her side throughout her reign, she will take a journey on a steam locomotive to mark the opening of the longest domestic railway to be built in Britain for more than 100 years.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said she might even make a rare public speech afterwards.