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Elizabeth's milestone for British monarchs

December 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday became Britain's oldest-ever monarch, reaching a new milestone in a job she has held for more than half a century.

Elizabeth, 81, passed the mark set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

Victoria was born May 24, 1819, and lived for 81 years and 243 days. Buckingham Palace, calculating longevity down to the hour, said Elizabeth moved past her predecessor about 5 p.m.

Palace officials said there would be no special events to mark the occasion, and the queen had no public appearances Thursday. She spent the day quietly at home.

Elizabeth, who took the throne in 1952, is one of only five monarchs since the Norman Conquest in 1066 to reign for more than half a century. Currently the fourth-longest-reigning English monarch, she would overtake King Henry III on March 5, and King George III in 2012.

On Sept. 9, 2015, she would pass Victoria, who ruled for almost 64 years, as the longest-reigning British monarch.

Elizabeth's son Prince Charles closed in on the title of longest-waiting heir to the throne. Victoria's son became King Edward VII in 1901, when he was 59 years and two months old. Charles turned 59 five weeks ago on Nov. 14.

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