See the Stunning Portraits That Will Mark Queen Elizabeth's Record-Breaking Reign

Royals fans are in for a treat as the Queen becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history

Photo: Royal Collection Trust/ William Hustler and Georgina Hustler/ National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Elizabeth doesn’t like a fuss. But if the 89-year-old had hoped the moment she becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history would go without pomp and fanfare, she’s out of luck – and royals fan are in for a treat.

On September 9, the day she passes Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years and 216 days, a special exhibit of photographs will be unveiled to celebrate the momentous occasion. And since it wouldn’t be a key royal moment without commemorative china, the palace shops will be well stocked.

Despite palace officials indicating earlier this year that the Queen would be in Scotland on her annual late summer break, and not necessarily doing any public engagements, there has been an addition to her public diary, which means she and husband Prince Philip, 94, will be seen out and about.

The new exhibition will be on display for visitors at three places: Buckingham Palace, as part of the annual summer opening, Windsor Castle to the west of London and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

The photographic exhibit, entitled “Long to Reign Over Us,” includes official portraits and previously published images of the Queen from 1952 to the present day, and some informal photographs of the monarch and her family.

The earliest is a black-and-white portrait by Dorothy Wilding from February 1952 – taken just three weeks after Elizabeth became queen.

The Queen stuns in Cecil Beaton’s 1953 official Coronation Day portrait, shows off her regal splendor, dressed in the Order of the Thistle robes, in a photo by Julian Calder and is in her element in 2010 among the heather at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

An offbeat shot from 2006 shows her with one of her favorite animals – horses – as she holds the reins of two Highland ponies.

The Royal Collection says a total of 44 images will be on display, with some appearing at all three places, while others are location specific. There will be 21 display boards at Buckingham Palace, 30 at Windsor Castle (rising to 35 after 28 September) and 25 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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