London: The reign of Queen Elizabeth II has become the second longest in British history, overtaking that of George III.
Since ascending the throne on the death of her father, George VI on February 6 1952, the Queen has reigned for a total of 59 years and 110 days, including leap years – or 21,645 days.
She now ranks second only to Queen Victoria, who died in 1901 after 63 years and seven months on the throne, in the history of the monarchy in the British Isles over more than 1,000 years, the Daily Mail reports.
The Queen, who celebrates her Diamond Jubilee next year, is set to overtake even Victoria’s record in September 2015, at the age of 89.
Among living heads of state in world, only King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand – who has occupied the country’s throne since 1946 – has served for longer.
During her reign she has attended an estimated 25,500 official engagements in Britain, conferred 400,000 honours and awards and received 3.5 million items of correspondence.
A total of 12 prime ministers and six Archbishops of Canterbury have served under her while she has hosted more than a million garden party guests, scores of foreign heads of state, two popes and five astronauts at her palaces.
But despite fitting in an average of 430 engagements a year, today’s landmark will not be commemorated with any formal events.
She is expected to spend the day privately at Windsor.