Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest serving monarch

Queen Elizabeth II, reign, monarchy, Alex Veeneman, Kettle Mag
Written by Alex Veeneman

The Queen has set the record for the longest reigning British monarch in history, surpassing the record held by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Speaking in Scotland, at the opening of the Borders Railway, the Queen said she was humbled by the messages of support and kindness from people within the UK and abroad.

“It is not one to which I have ever aspired,” the Queen said. “Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones; my own is no exception.”

In a message via Twitter, Prime Minister David Cameron said she had been a rock of stability as the world continued to change.



As of 5.30 this evening, the Queen had reigned for 23,226 days and 16 ½ hours, the equivalent of 63 years and 7 months, according to a report from the BBC. Queen Victoria had reigned from 1837 until her death in January 1901.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also praised the Queen’s work during her reign.

“Throughout her reign, supported at all times by the Duke of Edinburgh, she has carried out her duties with dedication, wisdom and an exemplary sense of public service,” Sturgeon said. “As a result, Her Majesty is admired and held in affection across the Commonwealth and around the world. The reception she has received today, demonstrates that that admiration and affection is certainly felt here in Scotland.”

Acting Labour Leader Harriet Harman, speaking in the Commons, said her life was a sweep of British history, from the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as the transition from Empire to Commonwealth.

“There can be no doubt of the commitment that she has made and the public service she has given, and continues to give,” Harman said, according to a report from the BBC.

Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne Elizabeth II in a ceremony in 1952 after the death of her father, George VI.

Robert Lacey, a historian who wrote a biography about the Queen, in an interview with National Public Radio in the United States, said her fame comes from her actions, not her words.

“This absolute refusal to say anything important, this politeness, in an age of celebrity when everybody splashes their emotions and their feelings all over their personal phones, and politicians do the same — actually, someone who respects rules of civility and politeness matters,” Lacey said.

Though some have suggested the occasion should be time for constitutional reform. In a statement, Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic, a group in favour of abolition of the monarchy, said the UK should consider a head of state that would truly represent them.

“When anyone survives in public office for this long it is usually a sign of something wrong, either in the country’s constitution or in the political culture,” Smith said. “There is either a lack of will to challenge that person or a lack of mechanism to remove them – or both. To say the Queen has succeeded by ‘not putting a foot wrong’ is to miss the point of a head of state and to set the bar for success very low indeed.”

The Queen is currently on her summer holidays at her Scottish estate at Balmoral.

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