The Queen will have reigned for 25,000 days tomorrow, passing another milestone as the nation’s longest serving monarch.
Elizabeth II became sovereign on February 6, 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI, when she was 25.
The Queen reached her Silver Jubilee in 1977, Golden one in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
And the 94-year-old is now less than two years away from celebrating her Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne – in 2022.
The Queen has been a figure of continuity as her country changed through the 20th century, the Millennium and into the 21st century amid new technological and social advances and a succession of British governments.
During the seven decades of her reign, man has landed on the Moon, Britain got its first, then second, female prime minister, the internet was invented, and gay marriage was legalised in the UK.
The public has looked to the Queen in times of tragedy – the September 11 terror attacks, the London bombings, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and more recently during the coronavirus crisis.
As well as being the longest-reigning monarch in British history, the Queen is also the longest still-serving sovereign and wealthiest Queen in the world, and the oldest British monarch.
JUNE 2, 1953: The Queen wearing the Imperial State Crown and the Duke of Edinburgh in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet wave from the balcony to the onlooking crowds around the gates of Buckingham Palace after her Coronation on June 2, 1953
JUNE 1, 2020: Her Majesty riding Balmoral Fern, a 14-year-old Fell Pony, in Windsor Home Park. The Queen – the nation’s longest serving monarch – will have reigned for 25,000 days on Saturday. The 94-year-old continues to saddle up and ride around the grounds of her home
FEBRUARY 7, 1952: The Queen, then just 24, returning to Clarence House, London with the Duke of Edinburgh from London Airport, after the sudden death of her father, King George VI
MAY 24, 1957: The Queen arriving at the Copenhagen Town Hall after driving from the Amalienborg Palace in an open car
JUNE 5, 1961: American President John Kennedy (right) and his wife Jacqueline (second left) with Queen Elizabeth II (second right) and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace
JULY 30, 1966: England captain Bobby Moore holding the Jules Rimet Trophy, after collecting it from the Queen following England’s win at the World Cup at Wembley, London
OCTOBER 3, 1970: Her Majesty with Prime Minister Edward Heath (left), American President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon at Chequers, the official country residence of the Prime Minister in Buckinghamshire
FEBRUARY 16, 1977: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as they received a traditional Fijian welcome on board the Royal yacht Britannia on their arrival at Suva
JULY 11, 1977: The Queen receiving flowers during a walkabout among the crowds in Ipswich, during her Silver Jubilee Tour of Britain
JULY 29, 1981: The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales waving to the crowds outside Buckingham Palace from the balcony after their wedding at St Paul’s cathedral
The longest-reigning monarchs
1. Louis XIV of France (reigned from 14 May 1643 to 1 September 1715)
2. Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (reigned from 9 June 1946 to 13 October 2016)
3. Johann II of Liechtenstein (reigned from 12 November 1858 to 11 February 1929)
4. Queen Elizabeth II (reigned from 6 February 1952)
5. K’inich Janaab Pakal (reigned from 29 July 615 to 31 August 683)
When she became the country’s longest-serving monarch in 2015, she thanked the nation for its kind messages, but admitted that the royal record was, ‘not one to which I have ever aspired’.
‘Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception,’ she remarked.
The Queen will be at Windsor Castle with the Duke of Edinburgh and the ‘HMS Bubble’ of staff who have been running the couple’s reduced household.
She will have been monarch for 68 years, five months and 12 days by July 18, and in 2015 overtook the record of 23,226 days, 16 hours and some 30 minutes set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
But Her Majesty’s approach to having been on the throne for 25,000 days will undoubtedly be a matter-of-fact one, with the milestone unlikely to be on her radar. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Queen is spending the day privately.’
In March, the Queen became the fourth longest-serving monarch today, surpassing Mayan ruler Pakal the Great.
By March 11, Her Majesty had been on the throne for 68 years and 34 days, while K’inich Janaab Pakal ruled the Maya city state of Palenque for 68 years and 33 days before his death in 683AD.
Pakal the Great is thought to have ascended to the throne at the age of 12- years-old and during his rule managed to expand Palenque’s power in the western Maya states.
The Mayan civilisation reached its peak between 250 and 900 AD, when it ruled large swathes of what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
Meanwhile, just ahead of the British monarch is Johann II of Liechtenstein, who ruled from 1858 and 1929.
This is followed by Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
King Bhumibol reigned from 1946 until his death in October 2016 and was the world’s longest living reigning monarch before the Queen.
Holding on to the top spot is Louis XIV of France, with an impressive 72-year and 110-day reign.
Known as Louis the Great, the French monarch became King at the age of four following the death of his father Louis XIII, and ruled from 14 May 1643 to 1 September 1715.
The Queen, 94, has been seen riding at Windsor throughout lockdown and celebrated both her actual and official birthdays, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh turning 99.
The Queen said of the global Covid-19 pandemic: ‘While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.’
She also delivered two rare televised addresses to the nation just weeks apart during lockdown, reassuring the country that the virus would be overcome, telling those in isolation: ‘We will meet again.’
In another speech to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, she told how the message at the end of the war in Europe was ‘never give up, never despair’.
NOVEMBER 24, 1992: The Queen delivering her speech after a Guildhall luncheon to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne
MAY 17, 2011: Her Majesty (second right) with Irish President Mary McAleese (second left) after arriving at Aras an Uachtarain (The Irish President’s official residence) in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland, as Dr Martin McAleese (far left) and The Duke of Edinburgh (far right) look on
SEPTEMBER 9, 2015: The Queen pictured in 2015, on the day she became longest reigning monarch
APRIL 21, 2016: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh riding an open top Range Rover in Windsor, Berkshire, as she celebrates her 90th birthday
MAY 29, 2019: The Queen meeting guests during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
From the Falklands War and Munich Air Crash to England winning the World Cup and Megxit: The milestones and events in the Queen’s long reign
As the Queen reaches 25,000 days on the throne, here are some of the events and milestones of her reign:
1952: George VI dies and Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen. Flood devastates the Devon village of Lynmouth. Mau Mau rising in Kenya.
1953: Sweet rationing ends in Britain. Queen Mary dies. Everest conquered on eve of the Coronation.
1954: Study links cancer to smoking. Crash grounds BOAC’s Comet aircraft. French defeated at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. Elvis releases his first record. Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile record.
1955: Cyprus goes on strike against British rule. Sir Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister due to his failing health. The Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies. Princess Margaret calls off plans to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.
1956: Hungarian uprising and Suez crisis. Teddy Boys rock around the clock. Prince Rainier III of Monaco marries American film actress Grace Kelly.
1957: Prime Minister Harold Macmillan tells a Tory rally ‘most of our people have never had it so good’. The Treaty of Rome sets up the European Economic Community. Russians launch the Sputnik satellite, the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.
1958: Race riots flare in Notting Hill. Manchester United players die in the Munich air crash.
1959: The Mini car makes its first appearance and the first UK motorway, the M1, opens.
1960: Macmillan’s Wind Of Change speech. Princess Margaret marries Tony Armstrong-Jones.
1961: John F Kennedy succeeds Dwight D Eisenhower as US president. Berlin Wall rises. Soviet Union puts first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space.
1962: US spaceman John Glenn orbits the Earth. The Cuban Missile crisis is resolved.
1963: Lord Beeching wields the axe on British Rail. Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech. John F Kennedy is assassinated. Profumo scandal. Great Train Robbery. One of the coldest, snowiest winters on record.
1964: Beatlemania grips the UK and US. Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston. Mary Quant pronounces Paris fashion ‘out of date’.
1965: Rhodesia declares independence. US bombs North Vietnam. Britain appoints its first female High Court judge.
1966: Swinging London revolves around Carnaby Street and the Kings Road. The Queen Mother undergoes major abdominal surgery. England win the World Cup. Aberfan disaster in Wales.
1967: Breathalyser introduced. Arab-Israeli War. Nigerian Civil War. Abortion and homosexuality are legalised.
1968: Enoch Powell makes ‘rivers of blood’ speech. Ulster Troubles erupt with civil rights protests.
1969: Death penalty for murder permanently abolished in Britain. Prince of Wales’s Investiture at Caernarvon. British troops sent to Northern Ireland. American Neil Armstrong becomes first man to walk on the Moon. Woodstock music festival.
1970: Voting age cut from 21 to 18. North Sea oil fields discovered. First jumbo jet lands at Heathrow. Edward Heath wins election for the Tories. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi takes over as leader of Libya.
1971: British entry into EEC agreed. Decimalised currency launched in the UK. Angry Brigade bombs Employment Secretary’s home.
1972: Miners’ strike and power crisis – state of emergency declared. Industrial Relations Act disputes. Bloody Sunday. Duke of Windsor dies. First home video game system is released.
1973: Britain joins the EEC. The Princess Royal marries Captain Mark Phillips.
1974: Edward Heath loses narrowly to Harold Wilson, who wins second general election. US President Richard Nixon resigns over the Watergate affair.
1975: Margaret Thatcher becomes Conservative Party leader. Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts. End of Vietnam War.
1976: James Callaghan replaces Wilson at No 10. One of the hottest summers on record. Concorde begins commercial flights.
1977: Lib-Lab pact. Grunwick picket clashes. Punk rock. Silver Jubilee. The Queen becomes a grandmother. Red Rum wins Grand National for a record third time.
1978: Rhodesia settlement. Anna Ford becomes ITN’s first primetime woman newsreader. Red Brigades kidnap former Italian premier Aldo Moro. World’s first test tube baby, Louise Brown, born in Oldham. Winter Of Discontent strikes.
1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first woman prime minister. Queen’s art adviser Anthony Blunt exposed as Russian spy. Fall of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. Islamic revolutionaries come to power in Iran.
1980: SAS storms Iranian Embassy. Runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe win Olympic gold.
1981: Brixton riots. The Prince of Wales weds Lady Diana Spencer. Unemployment reaches 2.5 million. Britain in recession. The launch of the first space shuttle – Columbia.
1982: Falklands War – Prince Andrew is among those serving in the forces. Intruder in Queen’s bedroom. Pope visits Britain. King Henry VIII’s Mary Rose raised in the Solent. Prince William born. Economic recession.
1983: US President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars speech. Russians shoot down Korean jetliner.
1984: The IRA bombs Grand Hotel, Brighton. Indira Gandhi assassinated. Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia appeal. Miners’ strikes. Prince Harry born.
1985: Bradford City football stadium fire kills 56. Heysel stadium riot kills 39. Live Aid concert held to raise money for Ethiopian famine.
1986: Funeral of Duchess of Windsor at Frogmore. Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson and becomes Duke of York.
1987: Zeebrugge disaster. The Great Storm sweeps through southern England. IRA bombs Enniskillen Remembrance Day parade. Hungerford massacre. King’s Cross fire.
1988: Piper Alpha oil platform disaster. Lockerbie jumbo jet bombing. Government loses Spycatcher legal battle. Professor Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time is published.
1989: Hillsborough disaster. Berlin Wall falls. Tiananmen Square massacre. Author Salman Rushdie goes into hiding. Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web.
1990: John Major becomes prime minister. Iraq invades Kuwait. Nelson Mandela is released from prison. Poll tax riots.
1991: Allies launch Operation Desert Storm in Gulf War against Iraq. Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev resigns. Birmingham Six freed after 16 years in jail.
1992: The Queen’s ‘annus horribilis’ – the Princess Royal and Captain Phillips divorce, the Waleses and the Yorks separate, Windsor Castle goes up in flames. Black Wednesday – the day Britain crashed out of the ERM. The break-up of Yugoslavia.
1993: Publication of the Prince of Wales’s intimate talk with Camilla Parker Bowles. The IRA bombs Warrington. Buckingham Palace opens to the public. Stephen Lawrence is stabbed to death in Eltham, south-east London.
1994: Labour leader John Smith dies. The Queen and French President Francois Mitterrand open the Channel Tunnel. 50th anniversary of D-Day. Prince of Wales admits adultery in TV documentary. IRA ceasefire. The Queen visits Russia. Genocide in Rwanda.
1995: Official Aids cases pass one million mark. Barings Bank collapses. Terrorist gas attacks panic Tokyo and Yokohama. VE Day and VJ Day commemorated. Princess Diana’s Panorama interview.
1996: The Duke and Duchess of York divorce. The Prince and Princess of Wales divorce. Mid-air crash in India kills more than 350. Fire in Channel Tunnel. Ban on exports of British beef amid BSE crisis.
1997: New Labour under Tony Blair beats the Conservatives, ending 18 years of Tory rule. Royal Yacht Britannia decommissioned. Diana, Princess of Wales dies in Paris car crash. Scotland and Wales votes for devolution. Dolly the Sheep cloned. Handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China.
1998: War breaks out in Europe as a Nato coalition attacks Yugoslavia. Digital TV launched. Operation Desert Fox in Iraq. Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. Omagh bombing.
1999: Birth of single European currency, the euro. Prince Edward marries Sophie Rhys-Jones.
2000: A new millennium and the Queen Mother’s 100th year. British rower Steve Redgrave makes Olympic history by winning his fifth consecutive gold medal. George W Bush becomes US president.
2001: September 11 terrorist attacks. Foot-and-mouth outbreak in UK. First space tourist. Britain joins the US in strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
2002: The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret die. Twelve European Union countries adopt the euro.
2003: Britain and the US go to war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
2004: Double Olympic gold for Kelly Holmes in 800m and 1,500m in Athens. Asian tsunami kills more than 100,000.
2005: Pope John Paul II dies and is succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI. The Prince of Wales marries Camilla Parker Bowles. London wins 2012 Olympics bid. July 7 terror attacks in London. Civil partnerships give same-sex couples legal rights.
2006: The former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is hanged in Baghdad. Lebanon War.
2007: Gordon Brown replaces Tony Blair as Prime Minister. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.
2008: Jury return a verdict of unlawful killing in the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The UK enters a recession following the financial crisis. Barack Obama is elected to become the first black US president.
2009: Singer Michael Jackson dies. Swine flu pandemic. MPs’ expenses scandal.
2010: David Cameron becomes Prime Minister, leading a Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Queen becomes a great-grandmother for the first time when Savannah Phillips is born. Volcanic ash cloud blowing in from Iceland grounds flights. Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest.
2011: Middle East uprising. Japanese tsunami. Nato air raids on Libya. Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Queen visits Ireland. The summer riots.
2012: The Queen marks her Diamond Jubilee. London 2012 Olympics. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are expecting a baby.
2013: Continuing civil war in Syria. Pope Benedict XVI resigns. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis. Baroness Thatcher and Nelson Mandela die. Prince George of Cambridge is born.
2014: Major flooding in England and Wales. The first same-sex wedding takes place after gay marriage becomes legal in England and Wales. Crisis in Iraq and Syria over the Islamic State militant group. Scotland votes ‘no’ to independence. Ukraine crisis. Ebola epidemic.
2015: Attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge born. Conservative win majority in general election. Migrant crisis. The Queen becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Terror attacks in Paris, including at the Bataclan concert hall.
2016: Shooting at gay nightclub in Orlando. Queen celebrates her 90th birthday. British astronaut Tim Peake returns to Earth after a six-month mission on the ISS. The UK votes for Brexit in referendum on the EU. Theresa May becomes Prime Minister. The Queen becomes the world’s longest-reigning, still-serving monarch after the death of the king of Thailand.
2017: US President Donald Trump takes office. The Queen reaches her Sapphire Jubilee – 65 years on the throne. Manchester Arena bombing. Early election. Grenfell Tower fire. The Queen and Philip celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary.
2018: Diplomatic row breaks out with Russia over poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal. Prince Louis of Cambridge born. Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle.
2019: Notre Dame fire. Terrorist attack in Sri Lanka. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor is born to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK. England win the Cricket World Cup. Theresa May resigns. Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister. The Duke of York steps down from royal duties amid the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
2020: Megxit – Harry and Meghan quit royal life. Brexit – the UK leaves the EU. Coronavirus outbreak. Lockdown in the UK. Black Lives Matter protests follow the death of George Floyd in the US.
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