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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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'Absolute constant' Queen has been 'very reassuring'

Former prime minister Sir John Major has paid tribute to the Queen as an "absolute constant" in British public life.

Sir John Major is one of the 12 prime ministers of Elizabeth II's reign so far. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive

Her Majesty will today surpass her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain's longest reigning monarch after inheriting the throne in 1952.

Throughout the last 60 or so years, the Queen has been an absolute constant.

Whilst prime ministers have come and gone, celebrities have come and gone, life has changed, she and the monarchy have been an absolute constant in their lives and I think that is very reassuring.

– Sir John Major, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme

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