Celebrating Queen’s record reign as Elizabeth II becomes longest-serving monarch

Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Corporation Quay in Sunderland to view a flypast of a vulcan bomber before taking a tour of a Diamond Jubilee exhibition celebrating 60 years of Her Majesty's reign.
Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Corporation Quay in Sunderland to view a flypast of a vulcan bomber before taking a tour of a Diamond Jubilee exhibition celebrating 60 years of Her Majesty's reign.
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Today will mark another milestone in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II as she makes history by becoming the longest serving British Monarch.

Church bells will ring out from Westminster Abbey in London in recognition of the moment she takes the title, previously held by her great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

FILE PIC old ref number 71885 7 May 2002.  Pic by peter Berry''Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Sunderland Railway Station  to officially open the new link between Sunderland Gateshead Metro.

FILE PIC old ref number 71885 7 May 2002. Pic by peter Berry''Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Sunderland Railway Station to officially open the new link between Sunderland Gateshead Metro.

During her after 63 years and 216 days on the throne so far, the monarch has made a series of visits to Sunderland, as well as Durham,

Ahead of that, while she was still a princess, she joined celebrations held on the banks of the cities’ river on Wednesday, May 1, 1946, when she named the 12-tonne tanker British Princess at Sunderland’s Deptford Yard of Sir James Laing and Sons.

As Queen, she returned to Sunderland, taking in its train station in the company of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on May 18, 1993, and also visited the city’s Red House estate as part of the Diamond Jubilee exhibition celebrating 60 years of her reign.

On the same day, the couple watched a flypast by a Vulcan bomber from Corporation Quay and attended a reception at the city’s Civic Centre, where huge crowds gathered to welcome her.

Bishop of Durham Paul Butler

On December 7, 2000, she officially opened Sunderland Royal Hospital’s new £15million maternity unit.

The expansion of the Metro line between Sunderland and Gateshead was officially launched by the Queen in May 7, 2002.

In on July 14, 1977, she visited Durham, including its castle, and has also visited East Durham, in on May 9, 2002, when she took a tour of its seafront and met youngsters.

The Bishop of Durham Paul Butler has been among those to offer his congratulations on her long reign.

Diamond Jubilee Retro'FILE PIC''The Queen opens Sunderland Royal Hospital new �15 million maternity unit. 7 December 2000 old ref number 62796 .  Pic Kevin Brady''Queen Elizabeth II

Diamond Jubilee Retro'FILE PIC''The Queen opens Sunderland Royal Hospital new �15 million maternity unit. 7 December 2000 old ref number 62796 . Pic Kevin Brady''Queen Elizabeth II

He said: “Her Majesty has served our nation phenomenally well as monarch.

“As a diocese we send her our heartfelt congratulations on becoming our nation’s longest reigning monarch.

“Her life of duty, service and care is exemplary.

“We thank God for her, and the Duke of Edinburgh, who has served alongside her so faithfully.
“We continue to pray that God will bless Queen Elizabeth II.”

FILE PIC taken 18 May 1993'Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Sunderland Civic Centre old ref number 16662 Photographer Gilbert Johnson'18 May 1993'Happy crowds roar their greeting as the Queen drives to Sunderland Civic Centre.

FILE PIC taken 18 May 1993'Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Sunderland Civic Centre old ref number 16662 Photographer Gilbert Johnson'18 May 1993'Happy crowds roar their greeting as the Queen drives to Sunderland Civic Centre.

Bishop Paul will preach a sermon in Durham Cathedral this evening in a service of Thanksgiving For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

A special prayer, produced by the Church of England Liturgical Commission and approved by Buckingham Palace, will be said at around 17.30, the time at which Her Majesty becomes the longest-reigning monarch. The sermon at the service will be given by the Bishop.

The Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon, said: “I feel passionately that we should recognise and celebrate the fact that Her Majesty the Queen becomes the longest reigning Monarch on Wednesday and it is fitting that we are holding this special service at Durham Cathedral, which is a wonderful place of celebration and worship at the heart of our community.”

FILE PIC taken 18 May 1993   Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Sunderland Station old ref number 16661 18 May 1993   Photographer Tony Colling  Wednesday Retro 1993

FILE PIC taken 18 May 1993 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Sunderland Station old ref number 16661 18 May 1993 Photographer Tony Colling Wednesday Retro 1993

1946 PRINCESS ELIZABETH LAUNCHING SHIP 'BRITISH PRINCESS' OLD REF NUMBER 14-1547 no date image number 469888 - picture caption: Her Royal Highness names the 12, ton tanker British Princess at the Deptford Yard of Sir James Laing and Sons Wednesday 1 May 1946

1946 PRINCESS ELIZABETH LAUNCHING SHIP 'BRITISH PRINCESS' OLD REF NUMBER 14-1547 no date image number 469888 - picture caption: Her Royal Highness names the 12, ton tanker British Princess at the Deptford Yard of Sir James Laing and Sons Wednesday 1 May 1946

Queen Elizabeth II visits Durham - 14 July 1977  old ref number 16843 pic by Jack Carroll old ref number 44 6774

Queen Elizabeth II visits Durham - 14 July 1977 old ref number 16843 pic by Jack Carroll old ref number 44 6774

FILE PIC taken 18 May 1993'HM Queen Elizabeth at Red House old ref number 16665 Photographer Gilbert Johnston'18 May 1993'Kirsty Sinclair aged 8,  presents a bouquet to the Queen at Red House's Aim High Centre.

FILE PIC taken 18 May 1993'HM Queen Elizabeth at Red House old ref number 16665 Photographer Gilbert Johnston'18 May 1993'Kirsty Sinclair aged 8, presents a bouquet to the Queen at Red House's Aim High Centre.

Queen Elizabeth II at Seaham Station 2002 old ref number 71902 pic by Tony Colling'see Wednesday May 8 2002

Queen Elizabeth II at Seaham Station 2002 old ref number 71902 pic by Tony Colling'see Wednesday May 8 2002

FILE PIC old ref number 71885 7 May 2002.  Pic by Peter Berry'Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Sunderland Railway Station  to officially open the new link between Sunderland Gateshead Metro.

FILE PIC old ref number 71885 7 May 2002. Pic by Peter Berry'Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Sunderland Railway Station to officially open the new link between Sunderland Gateshead Metro.