Today, Queen Elizabeth Breaks A Huge Record

On Wednesday, the ever-stunning, ever-feminist champion Queen Elizabeth II, at 89, will become the longest-serving monarch in British history. Because the United Kingdom knows that female leaders are where it's at — well, it's known that for the last few centuries, anyway — Queen Elizabeth will take the title from her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who held the crown for 63 years and 216 days, until she died in January 1901. Both of them have served more time than any of their male counterparts (12, to be exact, at least since England and Scotland merged in the 18th century to become Great Britain) — because if you're one of the world's achingly few woman leaders, why on earth would you step down if you didn't have to?

It's not entirely clear what time on Wednesday Elizabeth can mark her anniversary, given that her father died at an unknown time of day on Feb. 6, and so there's no way of accurately knowing when she became his heir. And although the United Kingdom is pausing its day to celebrate her — the British parliament will pause work for a half-hour; the HMS Belfast boat on London's River Thames will offer a gun salute, and Tower Bridge will rise; and boats celebrating her rule will pass through the Thames — the queen herself has shrugged off any celebrations, partially because, you know, it's a little awkward to celebrate the moment your great-great-grandmother died and set the record you're now breaking.

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While a ton of people around the world are celebrating her big day, the Queen herself will be hanging out in Scotland, doing her thing — on Wednesday, her thing will be opening a new Scottish rail system and riding the train. Because the best way to celebrate a record-breaking anniversary is to be too blasé to do any of the celebrating herself, amiright?

Well, maybe she and Prince Phillip will have a little sherry at dinner.


The Queen is still in good health at 89, and has made no indication that she plans on stepping down from the throne at all. You go, Liz.