Date
22 March 2017
Twelve British prime ministers have served under Queen Elizabeth during her 63-year reign. Photo: AFP
Twelve British prime ministers have served under Queen Elizabeth during her 63-year reign. Photo: AFP

Queen Elizabeth quietly becomes longest-serving British monarch

Milestones in Queen Elizabeth’s 63-year reign have usually been marked by lavish celebrations, including horse-drawn carriage processions, throngs of cheering crowds and street parties.

But when the queen becomes Britain’s longest-serving monarch Wednesday, breaking the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, she doesn’t want any fuss made over the occasion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing royal aides.

“It’s business as usual,” a spokesman for Buckingham Palace was quoted as saying. “She’s not celebrating at all.”

There have been calls from royal supporters for celebrations, but the occasion places the queen in an awkward position.

Elizabeth doesn’t feel this is the time for the country to celebrate, as she rose to the throne at age 25 following the death of her father, a devastating moment for her, the report said.

Instead, the 89-year-old queen and her husband, Prince Philip, will travel from their summer residence at Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh, where they will open a new rail line.

The royal couple will then take a steam train along the railway, the longest built in Britain in more than 100 years.

Next year, when the queen turns 90, is a more obvious moment for a full and national celebration, the report said.

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