Long to reign over us: Fascinating pictures show Queen in EVERY year of her reign which is about to become the longest ever

  • On September 9, Elizabeth II will become the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria's record
  • Princess Elizabeth became Queen at just 25 on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952

As one of the most photographed women in the world, the Queen's reign has been documented through a camera lens year after year.

And on September 9, Elizabeth II will become the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who, Buckingham Palace has calculated, reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes. 

Princess Elizabeth became Queen at just 25 on the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.

She has served, with Philip at her side, through the 20th century, the Millennium and into the 21st century, witnessing new technological advances and a succession of British governments of different political persuasions.

From the earliest picture in a black mourning outfit when had been sovereign for just one day to walking her corgis and through coal mines, this stunning collection of photographs document her historic reign... 

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In mourning: In the earliest image from February 7, 1952, the Queen is pictured in a black outfit as she returns to Clarence House in London. Elizabeth II has been monarch for just one day after the death of her father King George VI 

Queen's Coronation: One June 2, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II is pictured wearing the St Edward Crown and carrying the Sceptre and the Rod after her coronation in Westminster Abbey

Royal wave: On May 15, 1954, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are pictured with Prince Charles and Princess Anne on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their return from the Commonwealth tour

At the races: Dated September 7, 1955, Queen Elizabeth II is pictured at Doncaster racecourse to see the St. Leger. An avid racing fan, the Queen began riding lessons at the age of three and is known for her knowledge of thoroughbreds and breeding

Family support: On May 2, 1956, the Queen visited Windsor Great Park with Prince Charles to watch the Duke of Edinburgh play polo

On telly: Queen Elizabeth II, pictured in the Long Library at Sandringham, after making the first televised Christmas day broadcast to the nation in 1957. She is holding the copy of Pilgrim's Progress, from which she read a few lines during her message

Dressed for the mines: The Queen dressed in a white boiler suit, scarf and safety helmet on a visit to the coal mine at Rothes Colliery in Fife on July 1, 1958. It was her first visit to a coal mine and she spent around 30 minutes underground visiting the coal face

Wellies and brollies: The Queen at Badminton Horse Trials on April 16, 1959. The monarch has been a frequent visitor at the three-day event for many years

Royal baby: Queen Elizabeth II holding Prince Andrew during an outing in the grounds at Balmoral, Scotland, on November 8, 1960. He was the first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years

Bonding time: In a picture dated May 18, 1961, the Queen is shown out riding at Windsor Castle with a young Prince Charles

Stylish: The Queen (pictured left) is a leopard-skin coat at a Sandown Park race meeting on March 23, 1963. The fur ensemble has been consigned to the wardrobe after conservationists urged her not to wear it, but she has been seen in other fur coats and hats since

On horseback: On June 8, 1963, she is seen riding side-saddle at the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade. The Queen has appeared at her annual birthday parade every year of her reign, except for 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event

Checking the soldiers out: The Queen, who is also head of the Armed Forces, is seen inspecting the 1st and 2nd Battalions Coldstream Guards, at Windsor, on June 22, 1964

Family day out: Pictured from left, Queen Elizabeth II, baby Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh, in the gardens of Frogmore House, Windsor, Berkshire, as they celebrate the Queen's 39th birthday on April 21, 1965. The same pram was used to ferry the Queen's great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte to her christening in July this year

Birthday celebrations: The Queen in the House of Lords during the opening of Parliament on April 21, 1966 - her 40th birthday. She has only missed two of the ceremonies: in 1959 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and in 1963, while expecting Prince Edward

Dressed up: The Queen, who has been in unfirom herself, at the garden party in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in London's Chelsea on June 1, 1967, to mark the 50th anniversary of women in active service during the Second World War

Glamorous: Queen Elizabeth II and PA Chairman W.D. Barnetson looking at a collection of Royal images from the Press Association during a reception in Guildhall, London, marking the centenary of the Press Association, on June 6, 1968

Titled: Queen Elizabeth II formally investing her son Prince Charles with the Coronet of the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Caernarfon castle July 1, 1969. He actually took on the title when he was nine, but the Queen insisted the ceremony should wait until he fully understood its significance

Meetings: Queen Elizabeth II with Prime Minister Edward Heath (second from right) and American President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon at Chequers, Buckinghamshire on October 3, 1970. Since she came to the throne, there have been 12 U.S. presidents and she has met all but Lyndon B Johnson

Green-fingered: The Queen on her visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 24, 1971, a regular fixture in the royal calendar. The Queen usually attends each year and Prince Charles, a keen gardener, has picked up several silver medals for his own gardens at the show

Hard-working: The Queen in her study at Balmoral on September 1, 1972 - the year of her silver wedding anniversary. Even when away from London, in residence at Balmoral or Sandringham, she receives official papers nearly every day with her working day starting at her desk

Chilling with the corgis: The Queen sitting with her corgis, at Virginia Water, to watch competitors, including Prince Philip, in the Marathon of the European Driving Championship on May 12, 1973. She has owned more than 30, many of them direct descendants from her first corgi Susan. Now she has only two, Holly and Willow, but will not being getting any more as she does not want to leave any young dogs behind

Ceremony: The Queen and Princess Anne in Buckingham Palace on November 26, 1974, with some of the heroes being decorated after helping Anne during an attempt to kidnap her as she was driven back to the Palace along Pall Mall. When armed kidnapper Ian Ball, who was going to demand £3million for her release, instructed Anne get out of the car, she retorted that his plot was not 'bloody likely' to work

Royal duties: Pictured on May 5, 1975, the Queen stands near an oak sapling, which she planted in the garden of the government guesthouse in Tokyo, after it had been brought to Japan from Windsor castle. Tree-planting is a staple part of royals duties and the monarch has planted hundreds all over the world during her reign

Holiday: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during their traditional summer break at Balmoral Castle on September 26, 1976. The highland retreat is one of the Queen's favourite places and she heads off to Scotland for the summer each year

On tour: The Queen on a walk-about in Portsmouth during her Silver Jubilee tour of Great Britain on June 29, 1977. She marked 25 years on the throne with a busy UK tour, visiting 36 counties over 10 weeks, as well as travelled 56,000 miles around the world in celebration

Nice to meet you! The Queen with a Jersey cow she was presented with at the Country Show at Le Petit Catelet, Saint John, Jersey, on June 27, 1978. An exotic range of live animals have been given to the Queen as gifts over the years, including a canary from Germany, jaguars and sloths from Brazil, two black beavers from Canada, two young giant turtles from the Seychelles and an elephant called Jumbo from the Cameroon

Royal entourage: Queen Elizabeth II is pictured in a bright yellow outfit during a walkabout in Muscat while visiting Oman on March 2, 1979

Walkies: The Queen with some of her corgis walking the Cross Country course during the second day of the Windsor Horse Trials on May 17, 1980. The monarch is responsible for introducing a new breed of dog known as the 'dorgi' when her corgi Tiny was mated with a dachshund 'sausage dog' called Pipkin which belonged to Princess Margaret

Big fan: The Queen walking through the crowds at the Royal Ascot race meeting on June 1, 1981. The monarch, who usually attends the meet each year, takes a close personal interest in Ascot and is kept informed of the order of running, she has owned 22 winners at Ascot

Picture time! The Queen takes photographs with her gold Rollei camera during her visit to the South Sea Islands of Tuvalu on October 26, 1982. The Queen often gets behind the lens herself to take photos of the Duke of Edinburgh carriage driving

World traveller: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visiting the Indian President Zail Singh at his palace in New Delhi on November 17, 1983. The Queen has travelled to some 129 different countries during her reign so far, but does not have a passport as British passports are issued in her name

Family photo: Pictured from left, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Prince Harry and the Prince and Princess of Wales after the christening ceremony of Prince Harry on December 21, 1984. The Queen is grandmother to eight and great-grandmother to five

On horseback: Queen Elizabeth II taking the salute of the Household Guards regiments during the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in London on June 15, 1985 

First time in China: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Bedaling Pass, on the Great Wall of China, on the third day of their State Visit to China on October 14, 1986. No British monarch had ever travelled to mainland China, let alone walked the Great Wall, the Queen's state visit in October 1986 made history

Regal: The Queen at a reception and banquet in Berlin's Charlottenburg castle after arriving with the Duke of Edinburgh for a two-day visit to join in the city's 750th anniversary celebrations on May 25, 1987. She was first pictured wearing reading glasses in 1977

Carriage ride: The Queen with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia with Queen Elizabeth II in the traditional carriage procession along the course at Royal Ascot on June 16, 1988

Common interests: Queen Elizabeth II with US President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy at Buckingham Palace in London on June 14, 1989. She and the former film star Reagan shared a love of horses and were once pictured riding together at Windsor

Royal blue: Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot in Berkshire for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on July 28, 1990

Strict orders: Dated July 16, 1991, the Queen is seen gesturing with a pointed finger for Ruud Lubbers, then prime minister of the Netherlands, to sit on an empty chair as the leaders of the G7 Summit countries gathered for a pre-dinner photocall at Buckingham Palace

Rough patch: Queen Elizabeth II surveying the scene at following the fire at Windsor Castle on November 21, 1992. This year was dubbed her 'annus horribilis' by the Queen herself, as 1992 also saw the Princess Royal divorce, the Duke and Duchess of York separate and the Prince and Princess of Wales's relationship hit rock bottom

Sharp-shooter: Queen Elizabeth II, with Chief Instructor, Small Arms Corp LT Col George Harvey, firing the last shot on a standard SA 80 rifle when she attended the centenary of the Army Rifle Association at Bisley on July 9, 1993

Pink lady: French President Francois Mitterand and Queen Elizabeth II preparing to cut the ribbon at the new terminal for the Channel Tunnel at Coquelles, France, on May 6, 1994

Visiting: South Africa's President Nelson Mandela greeting Queen Elizabeth II as she steps from the royal yacht Britannia in Cape Town on March 20, 1995 at the official start of the her first visit to the country since 1947

Memorial: Queen Elizabeth II laying a wreath at the gates of Dunblane Primary School on March 17, 1996, after one of the deadliest firearms incidents in UK history. Gunman Thomas Hamilton killed sixteen children and one teacher at the school near Stirling, Scotland, on March 13, before committing suicide

Travelling: Queen Elizabeth II inspecting an Indian Forces' Honour guard at the Rashtrapati Bhawan (formerly the Viceroy's Palace and Secretariat) in the centre of New Delhi, India, on OCtober 13, 1997, in a visit that marked the 50th anniversary of the country's independence from Britain

Eye-eye: The Queen, Colonel in Chief of the Corps of the Royal Engineers, looking though a Theodolite during her visit to the 42 survey Engineer Group at Denison Barracks in Hermitage on JUne 26, 1998

Taking tea: The Queen joined Mrs Susan McCarron for tea in her home in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow on July 7, 1999, as the royal family experimented with a more intimate, informal approach of meeting the public. The monarch is a fan of Earl Grey tea with milk, but no sugar

Close relationship: The Queen (left) and the Queen Mother leaving church by horse drawn carriage on the Sandringham Estate, Norfolk on July 23, 2000. The Queen was close to her mother, whom she called 'Mummy', and they shared a love a passion for everything equestrian and enjoyed talking about the turf

Behind the bar: On November 28, 2001, the Queen was pictured in the Queen Vic pub during a visit to Elstree Studios where soap EastEnders is filmed. The monarch was accompanied by long standing cast member Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell) and her on-screen son Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell

All smiles! Queen Elizabeth II is pictured enjoying a walk about, after visiting the Old Government House in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on October 11, 2002, during her two week Royal visit to Canada

Team picture: Queen Elizabeth II - and Berry the corgi, pictured with the England rugby squad, at a reception on December 8, 2013, at Buckingham Palace in London to celebrate winning the Rugby World Cup 

Tribute: The Queen laid a wreath at the Neue Wache Memorial, a memorial to victims of war and tyranny in Berlin on November 2, 2004, at the start of her three-day state visit to Germany

Wedding bells: The Queen is shown at the religious blessing of Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s marriage at St Georges Chapel in Windsor on April 9, 2005. The monarch told guests in a speech at the wedding reception that her son was 'home and dry with the woman he loves'

Birthday mail: Queen Elizabeth II sitting in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace in London on April 20, 2006, looking at some of the cards which have been sent to her for her 80th birthday

Diamond! Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh re-visiting Broadlands in Hampshire to mark their diamond wedding anniversary on November 18, 2007, where 60 years ago in November 1947 they spent their wedding night

Speech: Queen Elizabeth II speaking at a state banquet at Windsor Castle in Windsor on March 26, 2008, at the start of a two day state visit by President Sarkozy

Stuck in: Queen Elizabeth II planting a tree at Newmarket Animal Health Trust on October 29, 2009, during a royal visit which marked her 50th year as the charity's patron 

Meeting the Pope: Queen Elizabeth II talking with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on September 16, 2010, during a four day visit by the Pope to the UK

Memorial: Queen Elizabeth II is pictured on July 20, 2011, during a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, where she laid a wreath next to the wall of the Armed Forces Memorial where the 2010 names are inscribed. The memorial bears the names of more than 15,000 servicemen and women killed on duty since the end of the Second World War

60 years as sovereign: The Queen is centre stage to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee with Sir Elton John and Kylie Minogue at the pop concert in front of Buckingham Palace on June 6, 2012

Group shot: Elizabeth II joining The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS) for a photograph during her visit to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent, on June 28, 2013

Celebrity guest: Actress Angelina Jolie is pictured being presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace on October 10, 2014

Still going strong: Queen Elizabeth II waves after watching a flypast of Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft from the balcony of Buckingham Palace to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain on July 10, 2015

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