Bow Down: Queen Elizabeth II Is Officially the UK’s Longest-Reigning Monarch

You go, girl.

Queen Elizabeth II has casually passed another major royal milestone in her decades of ruling: Her Majesty is now Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

On Wednesday (Sept. 9), the Queen officially passed the record previously held by her great great grandmother Queen Victoria. Elizabeth has now ruled the monarchy for 63 years, seven months and one day (and counting).

The 89-year-old royal marked the occasion with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on a steam train from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, Scotland, to open the new Scottish Borders Railway.

“Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones — my own is no exception — but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness,” the Queen told the crowd at the railway’s opening ceremony. [via BBC]

Elizabeth became Queen at 25 years old when her father George VI passed away on Feb. 6, 1952.

Also on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace released two official photos of the Queen in her private audience room taken by English photographer Mary McCartney to celebrate the historic moment. Here’s one courtesy of the Palace’s official Instagram account (the other is in the gallery, above):

This photograph of The Queen by the renowned British photographer Mary McCartney has been released to mark the moment Her Majesty becomes the longest reigning British Monarch later today. The photograph was taken at Buckingham Palace in July in The Queen’s private audience room. Her Majesty is seated at her desk, with one of her official red boxes. It is here that Her Majesty has received her Prime Ministers for their weekly audiences and other guests such as visiting Heads of State and Government, including President Obama and Chancellor Merkel. In her constitutional role as Head of State, an essential element of Her Majesty’s work involves the red boxes that she has received almost every day of her reign, including weekends and holidays, but excluding Christmas Day. The red box contains important papers from government ministers in the United Kingdom and her Realms and from her representatives across the Commonwealth and beyond.  These documents are sent from the Private Secretary’s Office to The Queen, wherever she may be in residence, in a locked red despatch box. While all government boxes bear the Royal cipher, only Her Majesty’s box is embossed with the words ‘The Queen’. The Queen reads all of the papers and, where necessary, approves and signs relevant papers. The Queen still receives documents in the boxes that were made for her upon her Coronation.  These have been periodically refurbished to keep them in good condition. The company Barrow and Gale Ltd are the manufacturer of the red despatch boxes to The Queen and to Her Majesty’s Government. © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

A photo posted by The British Monarchy (@the_british_monarchy) on


For more photos of the longest-reigning monarchy in British royal history, launch the gallery, above.