She has lived longer than any of her predecessors, seen a dozen prime ministers come and go, and presided over six decades of British history — from war with Germany to the death of Princess Diana to the terror attacks on London.
Today, Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest reigning monarch in British history.
She beats the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria — 63 years and 7 months — more than a century ago.
Only four other British kings and queens have reigned 50 years or more.
“You have to be a certain age to remember a time when she wasn’t the queen,” said royal historian and commentator Hugo Vickers.
The only monarch most living Britons have ever known, Elizabeth has been the constant heart of British life since she came to the throne as a young woman aged 25.
In 1953, when she was crowned in Westminster Abbey, television was a novelty and British colonies were still dotted around the world.
Palace officials say there will be no fanfare today as the queen wanted the occasion to be a low-key affair, and “business as usual.”
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