Queen is Britain's longest-reigning monarch

The Queen has thanked people from around the world for their "touching messages of great kindness" on the day she becomes Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

Her Majesty will have served for 63 years and seven months - approximately 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes - by around 5.30pm today, overtaking the previous record held by Queen Victoria.

She told well-wishers in the Scottish town of Tweedbank that it was not a milestone she had never aspired to but that she was "very grateful" for the messages of support.

Earlier, David Cameron told the Commons that her reign had been "a golden thread running through three post-war generations".

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'Touched' Queen 'never aspired' to set monarchy record

The Queen has said she had "never aspired" to become Britain's longest-reigning monarch but was "thankful" for the messages received on the historic day.

"A long life can pass by many milestones," she said as she opened a new railway line in Scotland. "My own is no exception."

She said she and the Duke of Edinburgh were "delighted to be back in the Borders" as she unveiled the new Scottish Borders Railway alongside Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Many including you, First Minister, have kindly noted another significance attaching to today, although it is not one to which I have ever aspired.

Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception.

But I thank you all, and the many others at home and overseas, for your touching messages of great kindness.

– The Queen

Sturgeon praises Queen's 'dedication and wisdom'

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to the Queen during the inauguration of the new £294 million Scottish Borders Railway.

Ms Sturgeon said the Queen's reception showed the "strong admiration and affection" felt for her in Scotland.

"You have carried out your duties with dedication, wisdom and an exemplary sense of public service," she said.

"You are admired and held with great affection and esteem in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world."


Queen chats with Nicola Sturgeon during train journey

The Queen has resumed her train journey to Tweedbank as she marks her historic day by inaugurating the new £294 million Scottish Borders Railway.

Queen Elizabeth II waved out of the window of the steam locomotive Union of South Africa on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Her Majesty chatted with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the journey from Waverley Station to Tweedbank. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Prince Philip joined the pair in the luxury carriage. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Harman pays tribute to Queen's 'tireless' commitment

Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said the Queen is "admired by billions of people all around the world" in a tribute to her in the House of Commons.

Ms Harman praised Her Majesty's "tireless" commitment and dedication to the service of her country.

She also joked that the Queen had "gone from sending telegrams to sending tweets".

"We send her out warmest congratulations, our appreciation and above all our thanks," said Ms Harman.

Duchess praises Queen's 'unbelievable reign'

The Duchess of Cornwall has praised Queen Elizabeth II's "style" on the day Her Majesty becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch.

Speaking to ITV News' Alastair Stewart, she said:

Oh it's unbelievable, it's unbelievable.

I Just can't believe it's as long as Queen Victoria...such a big person in history, you know, to beat that and you know with such style.

– Duchess of Cornwall
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