On 9 September 2015, history will be made. Queen Elizabeth II will officially become the longest-reigning British monarch, breaking the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. In celebration, special photographic displays will open at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, including official portraits and pictures of Her Majesty undertaking royal visits, as well as images of informal family moments.
The outdoor displays, Long To Reign Over Us, will be arranged in the inner quadrangle of the official residences – areas of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle that are not usually included in the visitor route. The selection of images will run from 1952 until the present day.
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The Queen will become the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September
Despite her unquestionable historic achievement, the 89-year-old Queen has requested no celebrations on 9 September. She is said to hope that, if the occasion is marked at all, it is done so with reverence, with no sense of triumphalism and no suggestion that what is being celebrated is Victoria's death, according to the Telegraph.
Instead, the Queen will spend the day travelling by steam train from Edinburgh to Tweedbank to formally open the new Borders Railway – the UK's biggest new domestic railway for more than a decade - with her husband Prince Philip by her side.
Following the engagement, she will return to Balmoral – the castle built for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert – just as Victoria did on the day she passed her grandfather George III's record.
Victoria reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes – 63 years and seven months. While the Queen has elected not to mark the event, the nation is still likely to celebrate her lifetime of devotion on the day she becomes the longest-reigning of the 41 kings and queens of England since the Norman Conquest.