Queen Elizabeth II, the 89-year-old reigning UK monarch, beat her ancestor to occupy the English throne for the longest period. She was swamped with congratulatory messages from both her home country and overseas nations.
In a truly humbling gesture, the reigning English Queen quoted, ‘A long life can pass many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness’.
Wearing a turquoise dress and accessorized with her signature black handbag, she spoke for a short while to the crowds waiting to greet her on the day she surpassed the longest-reign record set by Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother. She said that overtaking her ancestor was something she had never aspired for and that she was merely the beneficiary of a long life.
The primary events for the historical day included travelling with her husband, Prince Philip, from Edinburgh to Tweedback, by a steam train to formally inaugurate the Scottish Borders Railways. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, accompanied the royal couple and she spoke highly of Her Majesty’s
”dedication, wisdom and exemplary sense of public service”.
In London, an entire fleet of vintage vessels, passenger boats and leisure cruises participated in what can be called ‘a water-parade’ on the Thames while the HMS Belfast heralded the occasion with a four-gun salute. As the exact time of the passing away of her father, George VI, is not known, the exact moment she became Queen is not known too.
The House of Commons took a 30-minute break to enable David Cameron, the Prime Minister, along with the Members of Parliament to pay tribute to the monarch. David Cameron called her reign a ‘rock of stability’ in a time when multiple changes had taken place at a rapid pace. She was ‘like a golden thread running through three post-war generations’, he added. He said that the Queen’s description of today being ‘like another normal day’ reflects her ‘typical selfless sense of service’.
Harriet Harman, the Acting Leader of the Labour Party, said that it was ‘no exaggeration’ that Her Majesty was looked upon with admiration by billions of people across the world. To commemorate the historical occasion, ministers are going to present her with a bound copy of her first speech as a Queen taken from the cabinet papers of 1952.