Today, Queen Elizabeth II has become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, breaking the record held for more than a century by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
The life and reign of Her Majesty is celebrated in a newly published book by Dorling Kindersley, to mark the occasion.
The book includes stories and information about the Queen and Royal Family, including these top ten facts:
1. In the UK, the Queen is officially styled as Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
2. In the Channel Islands the Queen is known as the Duke of Normandy and in the Isle of Mann as Lord of Mann.
3. Five different portraits of the Queen have appeared on British coins.
4. On the day of the Queen’s coronation on June 2 1953, a quarter of the world’s population took the day off in celebration.
5. The Queen’s now famous ‘Royal Walkabout’ was first made during a visit to New Zealand in 1970. ●
6. When she married on November 20 1947, like all other brides at that time, the Queen was given extra clothing coupons to help her prepare for her big day.
7. Among the 3,000 wedding gifts received by the Queen and Prince Philip were 500 cans of pineapple from Queensland, a piece of lace made from yarn Gandhi had spun himself, and a rabbit tea cosy, two pieces of soggy toast, and a rock from Mount Snowdon sent by an elderly Welshman.
8. The Queen was separated from Prince Charles for two months when he was just a few months old as she contracted the measles – one of the very few times she has taken time off during her six decades as monarch.
9. The Queen publicised the new automated telephone dialling system introduced in 1958 by calling the Lord Provost of Edinburgh direct from Bristol.
10. In 2001 the design for Queen Elizabeth II’s Great Seal was changed as the silver matrix, or engraved plates, used to cast the seal in wax had worn out on the original.