Today, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith, has just moments ago become the longest-reigning monarch in
British English history:
At exactly what time Her Majesty out-reigns her great-great grandmother is not precise, due to the uncertainty of the timing of the death of her father, George VI, who died in his sleep. But Buckingham Palace has estimated, to be absolutely safe, she will pass Victoria’s 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes at around 5.30pm*. That calculation assumes George VI’s death was around 1am, and factors in extra leap days in the reigns of “Elizabeth the Steadfast”, as she has been described, and the Queen Empress.
There will be no bonfires on Wednesday, however. Palace aides have reminded the press of the sensitivity of the occasion given it owes much to the premature death, at the age of 56, of the Queen’s father. “While she acknowledges it as an historic moment, it’s also for her not a moment she would personally celebrate, which is why she has been keen to convey business as usual and no fuss,” said one.
The only living monarch to out-reign the Queen is Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is two years younger but has reigned for six years longer. However she beats him, and all other contenders, on one matter. According to Guinness World Records, she holds the world record for most currencies featuring the same individual.
* 5:30pm BST is 11:30am CDT, or right about now.
Prince Charles, her heir-apparent, is 66, and also holds the record for being the longest-waiting heir-apparent in English history.