Queen Elizabeth II - Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch
Queen Elizabeth II achieves quite a milestone at 5.30pm today. The eldest daughter of King George VI, Elizabeth ascended the throne when she was just 25 years old; and now, more than 63 years later she continues her reign, but as Britain's longest ruling monarch.
Elizabeth is the only monarch most living Britons have ever known - her six decade reign has seen enormous social change and development occur in Britain. When her coronation was broadcast, television was a novelty and British colonies could still be found across the globe. By the 1990s, the empire had all but vanished. She has seen 12 British Prime Ministers come and go, 12 US Presidents in office and 7 Popes in the Vatican. She has also kept up with technology - in 1976 she became the first British monarch to send an email, 38 years later, in 2014, she sent the first majestic tweet.
As a mark of respect to Queen Victoria - who she will replace as longest reigning monarch - the Queen will mark the momentous occasion in a low key fashion, with a short speech at the opening of the Borders Railway in Scotland. Just like her great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth never expected to rule, yet here she is 89 years old continuing her public engagements. Long may she continue to reign.