Published on September 9th, 2015 | by Rob Stebbings
The Queen Becomes Longest Reigning Monarch
Later today Queen Elizabeth II surpasses her great-grandmother Queen Victoria to become Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Since she was proclaimed as Queen of the United Kingdom in 1952 following the passing away of George VI, Her Majesty has served the Commonwealth through the Cold War, the Space Age and the Internet Age.
Now aged 89, the Queen continues to undertake her official duties and even on this very special day, it is very much business as usual. Queen Elizabeth will be attending the opening of the Scottish Borders Railway before spending the rest of the day with members of the royal family at Balmoral.
Marking the milestone
Today will see a River Thames salute for Her Majesty at midday as a flotilla of historic vessels take part in a procession, and further along the River Thames at the Houses of Parliament the Prime Minister will lead tributes to the Queen.
As the nation celebrates this remarkable achievement which has seen Queen Elizabeth II reign for 63 years and seven months, the BT Tower in London is scrolling the message ‘Long may she reign’ and a range of collectible coins and special stamps have been issued too.
Commemorative stamps and coins
The portrait of the Queen has been depicted on UK coins since the year of her coronation 1953 in five different guises and the Queen holds the record for the most countries with her portrait on coinage. Here at the Post Office Shop we are marking this unique occasion in British history with Brilliant Uncirculated and Silver Proof coins available for next day delivery.
It is apt that the philatelic world is also commemorating Her Majesty becoming the longest-reigning monarch in UK history. The first class stamp has had a royal makeover too, changed to the colour purple for the first time with an overprint bearing the text Long To Reign Over Us. This will replace the current red version for the next 12 months.
In addition, collectible Stamp Cards and Presentation Pack featuring bibliographical details about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II are also available from today.
In her 21st birthday broadcast to the Commonwealth, Princess Elizabeth promised that ‘my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service’. Whilst unparalleled cultural change has occurred in the world during six decades of her reign, Her Majesty has certainly kept to her word during 23,226 days on the throne.