Long live the Queen: 63 years of the longest-reigning monarch

Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, September 9, becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history in more than a thousand years. The 89-year-old royal overtakes her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, with just over 63 years and six months on the throne. (Queen Victoria died in January 1901, when she was 81.)   

The queen was just 25 when she was crowned after her father King George VI died in 1952. Here’s a look at some iconic photographs of Her Majesty during her record-breaking 63 years on the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II walks down the principal corridor with Prince Charles (left) on the day of her coronation on June 02, 1953 in London, England. Photograph: Buckingham Palace/Clarence House via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II with (left to right) Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne the Princess Royal, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother watches a Royal Air Force fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace as part of the coronation ceremony on June 2, 1953. Photograph: Getty Images

Elizabeth, was just 25, and thousands of miles away in Kenya when her father King George VI died. Photograph: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Elizabeth met Prince Philip in 1934. They are second cousins. Photograph: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Winston Churchill (left of her majesty) pose for a photograph with the Commonwealth dignitaries attending a dinner at Buckingham Palace, London, December 3, 1952.  She is the queen of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations. She is Head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Photograph: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The order of service used by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation is displayed in an exhibition in Buckingham Palace. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The queen greets a little boy named Prince, who was born the same day as Prince Charles, during a visit to Nairobi in 1955. Photograph: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Queen Elizabeth II watches the derby through binoculars from the Royal Box at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey, June 3, 1964. With her (centre) is the then Sundan president Ibrahim Abboud. Photograph: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles walk through Liverpool Street Station in London with their dogs, having returned by train from Sandringham after the Christmas holidays, January 18, 1960. The Queen was expecting the birth of Prince Andrew in a month’s time. Photograph: Derek Berwin/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pose with their young brood, Prince Charles (right), Princess Anne (left) and Prince Andrew in September, 1960. The family, who sat on a picnic rug outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland, was also joined by one of the Queen’s beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Photograph: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in discussion, 1969. Photograph: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II shares a toast with the then Yugoslavia President Josip Broz Tito during a state banquet at Beli Dvor, October, 20 1972. Photograph: Central Press/Hulton Archive/


Dressed in their royal finest, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana pose for a photo after Prince William’s christening ceremony in August 1982. Photograph: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, weeps during the formal decommissioning service for the Royal yacht HMS Britannia at Portsmouth harbour December 11, 1997. Britain’s royal family bade an emotional farewell to the craft, which has served almost 44 years, as it was paid off into retirement. Photograph: Reuters

Queen Elizaberth II shares a light moment with her grandson Prince Harry after the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in April 9, 2005. Prince Charles finally married the love of his life in a simple town hall ceremony contrasting sharply with his spectacular cathedral wedding to the ill-fated Princess Diana, Harry’s mother. Photograph: Alastair Grant/Reuters

The queen boards a scheduled train at Kings Cross station in London to go to Kings Lynn in Norfolk, December 17, 2009. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/Reuters

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth holds her hat in the wind as she speaks with US President Barack Obama at Buckingham Palace in London May 24, 2011. Photograph: Murray Sanders/Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II, wearing the Imperial State Crown, proceeds through the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster during the state opening of Parliament on May 9, 2012 in London. Photograph: Leon Neal/Reuters

Howdy, grandma? Prince George talks as Queen Elizabeth listens in and daddy Prince Williams looks on adorably. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II can’t stop smiling as he looks at the little Princess Charlotte on her christening day. Wonder what mummy has to say. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

To mark the queen’s historic reign, Buckingham Palace arranged for her latest photograp to be taken by renown photographer, Mary McCartney, the eldest child of former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, and his first wife, the late Linda.

The photograph is taken at Buckingham Palace in July in the queen’s private audience room, depicts Her Majesty doing what she has done virtually every day for 63 years, including weekends and holidays but not Christmas Day: She is seated at her desk, going through documents in one of her official red dispatch boxes. Photograph: Mary McCartney/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II via Getty  Images

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