Most people have never known a world without Queen Elizabeth II at the helm of the British throne. Today, Sept. 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth II surpassed Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, for a grand total of 63 years and seven months, beating Queen Victoria’s previous reign by only hours at this time.
Queen Elizabeth, 89, marked this occasion with solemn grace. Known for disliking speeches, the Queen read a few lines that are a testament to her humility, and wished the day to go on as normal. Addressing a crowd come to see the longest-reigning monarch on this day, she said:
Many, including you First Minister, have also kindly notedanother significance attaching 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. But I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas, for your touching messages of great kindness. So now, to the business at hand…”
The Queen then opened a railway in Tweedbank, Scotland, amid raucous cheering.
Even though Queen Elizabeth herself, who ascended the throne in 1952, at the age of 25, would prefer this day to go on as usual, Prime Minister David Cameron is encouraging celebrations throughout Britain:
Millions of people across Britain will today mark the historic moment when Queen Elizabeth becomes our longest serving monarch. Her Majesty has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change, earning admiration for her selfless sense of service and duty. It is only right that we should celebrate her extraordinary record, as well as the grace and dignity with which she serves our country.”