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UK celebrates Queen's record breaking reign

Published 09/09/2015

Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd as she arrives at Edinburgh's Waverley Station, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, before boarding a steam train to inaugurate the new £294 million Scottish Borders Railway. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA
Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd as she arrives at Edinburgh's Waverley Station, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, before boarding a steam train to inaugurate the new £294 million Scottish Borders Railway. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA
First Minister Peter Robinson and Finance Minister Arlene Foster pictured at an event in Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Wednesday evening to mark the record service. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
A lady waits at Tweedbank, ahead of the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, as the Royal couple travel by steam locomotive from Edinburgh's Waverley station to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, waves from a carriage window at Edinburgh's Waverley Station, after boarding a steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
The BT Tower in London scrolling the message "Long May She Reign" to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
The royal barge Gloriana in front of the Houses of Parliament, London, during a Royal River Salute to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Crowds watch as a Royal River Salute sails under the Millennium Bridge in London to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
A Royal River Salute in front of the skyline of London, as the procession navigates the river Thames to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she arrives at Tweedbank, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travel by steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Crowds gather to see Queen Elizabeth II at Newtongrange railway station, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travel by steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire
Gregor Bunyan, 18 months, waits to see Queen Elizabeth II at Newtongrange railway station, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travel by steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire
People watch from a house window as Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Newtongrange railway station, on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, as she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travel by steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Reign. Photo credit should read: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire
A royal fan waves a Union flag outside Buckingham Palace in central London on September 9, 2015 on the day Britain's Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday, a milestone the 89-year-old herself downplayed as "not one to which I have ever aspired." Elizabeth overtook Victoria at 1630 GMT, the best estimate from royal officials for the time at which the monarch, who has become synonymous with Britain itself, reaches the historic moment. She has served more than 23,226 days on the throne -- a reign spanning from the gloom of the post-war years to the digital age, with a few royal scandals causing blushes along the way. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Crowds gather to watch town crier Tony Appleton proclaims the record breaking reign of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II outside Buckingham Palace in central London at 1630 GMT on September 9, 2015 on the day the Queen becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday, a milestone the 89-year-old herself downplayed as "not one to which I have ever aspired." Elizabeth overtook Victoria at 1630 GMT, the best estimate from royal officials for the time at which the monarch, who has become synonymous with Britain itself, reaches the historic moment. She has served more than 23,226 days on the throne -- a reign spanning from the gloom of the post-war years to the digital age, with a few royal scandals causing blushes along the way. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Crowds gather to watch town crier Tony Appleton proclaims the record breaking reign of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II outside Buckingham Palace in central London at 1630 GMT on September 9, 2015 on the day the Queen becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday, a milestone the 89-year-old herself downplayed as "not one to which I have ever aspired." Elizabeth overtook Victoria at 1630 GMT, the best estimate from royal officials for the time at which the monarch, who has become synonymous with Britain itself, reaches the historic moment. She has served more than 23,226 days on the throne -- a reign spanning from the gloom of the post-war years to the digital age, with a few royal scandals causing blushes along the way. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
David Hinde, the Bridlington Town Crier, prepares to deliver a congratulatory proclamation to mark the day upon which Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest reigning Monarch in Bridlington, northern England on September 9, 2015. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday, a milestone the 89-year-old herself downplayed as like many in the life of an elderly person. It is not known where exactly she will be at 1630 GMT, the best estimate from royal officials for the time at which the monarch, who has become synonymous with Britain itself, reaches the historic moment. At that time, she will have served 23,226 days, 16 hours and roughly 30 minutes on the throne -- a reign spanning from the gloom of the post-war years to the digital age, with a few royal scandals causing blushes along the way. Hinde, who in 2013 became the loudest recorded town crier in the world, as measured by Cirrus Research, delivered his proclamation on behalf of the Bridlington Mayor, the Town Council and the people of Bridlington. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
David Hinde, the Bridlington Town Crier, delivers a congratulatory proclamation to mark the day upon which Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest reigning Monarch in Bridlington, northern England on September 9, 2015. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday, a milestone the 89-year-old herself downplayed as like many in the life of an elderly person. It is not known where exactly she will be at 1630 GMT, the best estimate from royal officials for the time at which the monarch, who has become synonymous with Britain itself, reaches the historic moment. At that time, she will have served 23,226 days, 16 hours and roughly 30 minutes on the throne -- a reign spanning from the gloom of the post-war years to the digital age, with a few royal scandals causing blushes along the way. Hinde, who in 2013 became the loudest recorded town crier in the world, as measured by Cirrus Research, delivered his proclamation on behalf of the Bridlington Mayor, the Town Council and the people of Bridlington. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
David Hinde, the Bridlington Town Crier, delivers a congratulatory proclamation to mark the day upon which Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest reigning Monarch in Bridlington, northern England on September 9, 2015. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-reigning monarch on Wednesday, a milestone the 89-year-old herself downplayed as like many in the life of an elderly person. It is not known where exactly she will be at 1630 GMT, the best estimate from royal officials for the time at which the monarch, who has become synonymous with Britain itself, reaches the historic moment. At that time, she will have served 23,226 days, 16 hours and roughly 30 minutes on the throne -- a reign spanning from the gloom of the post-war years to the digital age, with a few royal scandals causing blushes along the way. Hinde, who in 2013 became the loudest recorded town crier in the world, as measured by Cirrus Research, delivered his proclamation on behalf of the Bridlington Mayor, the Town Council and the people of Bridlington. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
A band of pipers rehearse for a ceremony to be attended by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Ceremonial archers rehearse for a ceremony to be attended by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II talks with guests as she attends a ceremony at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II waves as she attends a ceremony at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II gives an address at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 during a ceremony to officially open the Borders Railway on the day The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attends a ceremony with Queen Elizabeth II at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C) attends a ceremony at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) attends a ceremony at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 to officially open the Borders Railway on the day that The Queen becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
A well-wisher wearing Union Flags on her head waits to greet Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Tweedbank Station in Tweedbank on the Scottish Borders on September 9, 2015 where The Queen will officially open the Borders Railway on the day that she becomes Britain's longest-serving monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
The Royal Barge Gloriana leads a procession along the River Thames in front of Tower Bridge in London, on September 9, 2015 to pay tribute to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II becoming Britain's longest-reigning monarch. Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth II becoming the country's longest-serving monarch with a flotilla down the River Thames, a gun salute and the peal of Westminster Abbey's bells. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
A handout image obtained in London from Britain's Royal Mail on September 9, 2015, shows one of five stamps which the company are issuing to commemorate the historic landmark of Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch. The stamp (The Classic Machin definitive), which features the iconic profile of Queen Elizabeth II by sculptor Arnold Machin, has been in use on definitive stamps since 1967, and the purple version now replaces the red version for the period of one year. Westminster Abbey's bells will peal, a flotilla will sail down the River Thames and a gun salute will ring out on Wednesday as Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-serving monarch in British history. AFP PHOTO/ROYAL MAIL/HANDOUT RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / ROYAL MAIL" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS -/AFP/Getty Images
EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 2301 GMT ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2015 A handout photo taken in July 2015 by Mary McCartney and released by Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2015, shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth as she poses for a photograph at her desk in her private audience room in Buckingham Palace, with one of her official red boxes in which she receives on an almost daily basis official correspondence from government ministers, her representatives across the Commonwealth, and dignitaries further afield. Queen Elizabeth II is planning to keep things low-key on September 9, 2015, when she will overtake Queen Victoria as Britain's longest-serving monarch, despite public interest in the historic date. According to calculations by royal officials, at around 1630 GMT Elizabeth will beat her great-great grandmother Victoria's time on the throne: a total of 63 years, seven months and two days which she served between 1837 and 1901. AFP PHOTO / MARY MCCARTNEY / HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE -- MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / MARY MCCARTNEY / HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II " -- NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS -- DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 2301 GMT ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2015 -- IMAGE FREE OF CHARGE FOR USE FROM ONE CALENDAR MONTH FROM OCTOBER 9, 2015. FURTHER USE, ON OR AFTER OCTOBER 7, 2015 MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE FROM THE ROYAL COMMUNICATIONS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE +44 20 7930 4832HO/AFP/Getty Images
A Royal River Salute of boats passes the Houses of Parliament, to mark Britain's Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. The Queen has on Wednesday become the longest ever reigning monarch in British history surpassing Queen Victoria who served for 63 years and seven months. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
TWEEDBANK, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 9: Queen Elizabeth II travels on a steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway, on the day the Queen becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, England. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 9: Queen Elizabeth II travels on a steam train to inaugurate the new ?294 million Scottish Borders Railway, on the day the Queen becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch, on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, England. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Plates commemorating Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest serving monarch on September 9, 2015 in London, England. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Police bkes drive past Buckingham Palace on September 9, 2015 in London, England. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh look on at the opening of the Borders Railway at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Scottish flags and Union Jacks are waved at the opening of the Borders Railway at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon at the opening of the Borders Railway at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon attends the opening of the Borders Railway at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she arrives at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II walks past ceremonial archers as she arrives at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
TWEEDBANK, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she arrives at Tweedbank Station on September 9, 2015 in Tweedbank, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 09: King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain (C) visit the Constitutional Court in occasion of his 35th anniversary on September 9, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEWTONGRANGE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II opens Newtongrange Station after arriving on the steam locomotive the Union of South Africa on September 9, 2015 in Newtongrange , Scotland.Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victorias record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, she has today opened the new Scottish Borders Railway. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: The Royal Barge Gloriana leads a procession along the River Thames near Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II becoming Britain's longest reigning monarch on September 9, 2015 in London, England. The Queen will have served for 63 years and seven months - 23,226 days - by around 5.30pm today surpassing her great-grandmother Queen Victoria to become Britain's longest ever reigning monarch. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
NEWTONGRANGE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh open Newtongrange Station following arriving on the steam locomotive the Union of South Africa on September 9, 2015 in Newtongrange , Scotland.Today, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victorias record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, she has today opened the new Scottish Borders Railway. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
NETWONGRANGE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Members of the public gather as Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh open Newtongrange Station following arriving on the steam locomotive the Union of South Africa on September 9, 2015 in Newtongrange , Scotland.Today, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victorias record by one day. Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, she has today opened the new Scottish Borders Railway. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
NETWONGRANGE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Members of the public gather as Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh open Newtongrange Station following arriving on the steam locomotive the Union of South Africa on September 9, 2015 in Newtongrange , Scotland.Today, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victorias record by one day. Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, she has today opened the new Scottish Borders Railway. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
NEWTONGRANGE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II arrives to greets well-wishers before she unveils a commemorative plaque at Newtongrange railway station on board the steam locomotive 'Union of South Africa' on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch on September 09, 2015 in Newtongrange, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Scotraill staff wait to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II at Waverley Station before boarding the steam locomotive 'Union of South Africa' on September 9, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, she has today opened the new Scottish Border's Railway. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: A drummer in the pipe band plays as crowds wait to catcha glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II at Waverley Station before boarding the steam locomotive 'Union of South Africa' on September 9, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, she has today opened the new Scottish Border's Railway. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
NEWTONGRANGE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Queen Elizabeth II arrives to greets well-wishers before she unveils a commemorative plaque at Newtongrange railway station on board the steam locomotive 'Union of South Africa' on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch on September 09, 2015 in Newtongrange, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: The Royal Barge Gloriana leads a procession along the River Thames near Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II becoming Britain's longest reigning monarch on September 9, 2015 in London, England. The Queen will have served for 63 years and seven months - 23,226 days - by around 5.30pm today surpassing her great-grandmother Queen Victoria to become Britain's longest ever reigning monarch. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on board the steam locomotive 'Union of South Africa' on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch on September 09, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Emily Smith is seen at Waverley Station ahead of the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II on September 09, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Today, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history overtaking her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record by one day. The Queen has reigned for a total of 63 years and 217 days. Accompanied by her husband and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon she will officially open the new Scottish Border's Railway which runs from the capital to Tweedbank. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen has thanked well-wishers for their "touching messages" as she became Britain's longest-reigning monarch. We look back at today's events and celebrations throughout the UK.

From the outside the Queen's trip to the Scottish Borders had all the trappings of a typical working day at the office.

It featured the official opening of a major transport project, plaque unveilings, flag-waving schoolchildren and dignitaries nervously waiting in line to meet their head of state.

The Americans have a saying for it "Another day, another dollar" - but the Queen takes the job more seriously than that.

She has been criticised by some for never expressing an opinion, never doing anything to stand out in comparison with her forebears and so cannot be considered a "great" Queen.

But her public style is more subtle, she is an unobtrusive host who listens, puts people at ease and accepts their good wishes.

So she shook hands, collected posies, talked to schoolchildren and asked informed questions.

Underlying it all was the momentous fact that today she became the longest reigning monarch in British history.

By working as normal she demonstrated how she has dedicated herself to the role of Queen, and is not distracted by moments for the history books.

Her comments as she opened the new Scottish Borders Railway in Tweedbank highlighted how she felt, as she said the milestone was "not one to which I have ever aspired".

On the steam train that took the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh from the Scottish capital to Tweedbank, the head of state appeared at ease sitting by the window watching the countryside go by.

The royal couple warmed to long-retired train driver Walter Bell who joined them in their luxury carriage and recounted tales about the days the railway was powered by steam engines.

Philip urged him to go on with his stories about life on the tracks when Mr Bell thought he had talked too long, and the Queen told him they both had a "special day".

With a goodbye wave the Queen signalled that her working day was over and she travelled back to Balmoral - the royal home where Victoria was staying when she became the longest reigning monarch.

Another milestone is approaching for the Queen - her 90th birthday which she will celebrate next year.

With age comes perspective and she may realise that her legacy will lie not in the length of her reign but in important factors elsewhere.

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Queen Elizabeth II, a life of selfless service so regally borne  

Northern Ireland celebrations

Celebrations will started early on Wednesday morning in Northern Ireland with schoolchildren in Belfast singing her praises. ITV's Good Morning Britain programme broadcast live from a number of schools including Belfast Girls Model, during which pupils will sang the first verse of the national anthem.

On Wednesday evening Finance Minister Arlene Foster was due to host an event in Stormont to mark the record service.

The event is attended by the Lord Lieutenant of County Down, David Lindsay, and includes a display of important artefacts including a throne used by the Queen when she visited Parliament Buildings, the Coronation Vase; a specially commissioned piece of artwork made for the occasion of the coronation and various pictures relating the Queen's long reign.

Ms Foster said: "Her Majesty the Queen has been a fixed point in an ever-changing world. Throughout her long years of public service she has displayed a tireless devotion to our country and its people. At all times the Queen has carried out her duties with a warmth of spirit and a kindness of heart."

A special Evensong in St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast will also mark the occasion.

A prayer written for the occasion, approved by the Queen, will be said in churches and cathedrals across the UK.

In St Anne's, where Choral Evensong takes place almost every weekday, the music will reflect this historic milestone and will include the national anthem.

Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle, will be among those expected to attend the service, which begins at 5.30pm.

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Longest reigning monarch in British history

The Queen is now considered to be the longest reigning monarch in British history.

She has surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria's record on the throne and has reigned for more than 23,226 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes.

The monarch, however, remains modest and matter of fact about the achievement.

Although she thanked the nation for their kind messages as she opened the Borders Railway in Tweedbank on the landmark day, she admitted that the milestone was "not one to which I have ever aspired".

She added: ''Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception.

"But I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness.''

She is believed to have passed Victoria's record at around 5.30pm but the exact moment she became Queen is hard to calculate as George VI died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning, possibly at around 1am.

At this time of year, the Queen is usually enjoying her much-loved annual break at Balmoral, but she broke from her holiday to carry out duties to mark the historic occasion.

The 89-year-old monarch, with the Duke of Edinburgh at her side, spent the day travelling 40 miles on the railway with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, starting at Edinburgh's Waverley Station, stopping off at Newtongrange in Midlothian before carrying on to the Borders town of Tweedbank.

She delivered her short speech at her last stop, demonstrating her business as usual approach at the end by remarking: "So now to the business in hand. It is my very happy duty to declare the Borders Railway open."

The milestone is tinged with sadness for the Queen as the calculation of the length of her reign is linked to the death of her father George VI, on February 6 1952 when he was just 56.

There was no mention of Victoria in the Queen's address but she was notably wearing her diamond bow brooch, which originally belonged to her ancestor.

She smiled broadly and waved as she was greeted by delighted crowds in Edinburgh where she began her journey on the polished steam locomotive Union of South Africa with Philip, sitting in a private compartment of the ''Pegasus'' Pullman coach at a crisp white linen-covered table decorated with flowers.

In private, the Queen acknowledged the day's significance. Retired train driver Walter Bell, 88, from Edinburgh, who sat with the royal couple for part of the way, revealed: "She said to me we've both got a special day."

Normal service was suspended for a time in the House of Commons as MPs paid tribute, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying: "The Queen is our Queen and we could not be more proud of her.

"She has served this country with an unerring grace, dignity and decency and long may she continue to do so."

Ms Sturgeon told the Queen in a speech: "For those watching from around the world let me say, on their behalf ma'am a simple but heartfelt thank you.''

Afterwards, she described the Queen as being "in tremendous form".

Back at Balmoral this evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are joining the Queen for dinner, although it is understood the gathering is not to mark the longest reign.

The rest of the royals carried on with their scheduled engagements, with the Duchess of Cornwall describing the milestone as "marvellous" on a tour of the This Morning studios.

Heir to the throne and future king the Prince of Wales was filming a Prince's Trust documentary with Ant and Dec.

The Duke of York praised the Queen's consistency and leadership, but described the day as a "normal run of the mill sort of date. It's just one day in her reign."

Although celebrations are much more low-key than any of the Queen's jubilees, a flotilla of boats processed down the Thames led by the royal rowbarge Gloriana. HMS Belfast sounded a four-gun salute and the Massey Shaw fireboat shot jets of water across the river, while Tower Bridge lifted in recognition of the sovereign.

Westminster Abbey and other churches and cathedrals rang their bells in the monarch's honour, while London's BT Tower scrolled the message ''Long May She Reign''.

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