Will the Queen's record as longest-serving monarch ever be beaten?

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Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the gates at Balmoral, as she takes up summer residence at the castle. Picture date: Monday August 9, 2021.
The Queen during at Balmoral last month. (PA)

“Long to reign over us…” The words of the national anthem aren’t wrong. Queen Elizabeth II, now 95, has been on the throne for almost 70 years, making her the UK’s longest-reigning monarch.

And she took that title on this day six years ago.

Read more: Queen makes announcement about Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Up until 9 September, 2015, the UK monarch with the most reign time had been Queen Victoria.

She had been queen for 63 years and 216 days between 20 June, 1837 and her death on 22 January 1901.

Victoria succeeded to the throne when she was just 18 years old, seven years younger than Elizabeth II was when it was her turn.

File photo dated 2/6/1953 of the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshall, paying homage to Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation at Westminster Abbey. Issue date: Friday April 9, 2021.
The Queen was coronated at Westminster Abbey on 2 June, 1953, having acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952. (PA)

Elizabeth II became queen on 6 February, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI.

She was in Kenya at the time of her father’s death and became the first sovereign in more than 200 years to accede while abroad.

Long has the Queen reigned over us then – 69 years and counting – but will a future royal ever wear the crown for such an extended period again?

Read more: On This Day - The death of Princess Diana

The chances, in the near future at least, appear slim.

The current heir to the throne is the Queen’s firstborn, Charles, the Prince of Wales.

BALLATER, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 31: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, visits Cambus O’May Suspension Bridge following its repair on August 31, 2021 in Ballater, Scotland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Charles, Prince of Wales, is next in line to the throne. (Getty Images)

Watch: The defining moments of Queen Elizabeth II's reign so far

However, should he succeed her, at the age of 72, he will not be king for anywhere near as length a period as his mother.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to the throne, as Charles’ eldest child.

But the duke will turn 40 next year, meaning that any time he does have as future king is highly unlikely to match his grandmother’s tally.

And so we come to William’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

George, aged eight, is third in line to the throne as William’s eldest child, followed by Charlotte, six, who is fourth in line, and Louis, aged three, who is fifth.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Cambridge, left, and the Duke of Sussex are second and sixth respectively in line to the British throne. (PA)

In 2011, succession laws were changed so sons and daughters of British monarchs have equal rights to the throne, meaning an elder girl takes precedence over a younger brother.

But could the Cambridge princes or princess ever come close to emulating the Queen’s 69 years on the throne should they become monarch?

It’s not impossible, but it is difficult to foresee.

Read more: The 14 prime ministers who've served during the Queen’s reign

Should the Duke of Cambridge take the crown at some point, he could well have decades as king, meaning George, the next in line, might be a similar age to his father now before he took over. And that may not be enough time to stay on the throne for more than 60 years.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, William’s younger brother, is sixth in line to the throne. 

His two children, Archie and Lilibet, are seventh and eighth in line respectively.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George attend a special pantomime performance at London's Palladium Theatre, hosted by The National Lottery, to thank key workers and their families for their efforts throughout the pandemic.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children, left to right, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, who are fifth, fourth and third in line to the throne respectively. (PA)

By virtue of being monarch for almost all of her adult life, the Queen's record looks very unlikely to be troubled during our lifetimes.

On 9 September, 2015, Elizabeth II took the longest-reigning monarch crown having been queen for 23,226 days.

She said at the time the title was “not one to which I have ever aspired”.

During a speech that day in the Scottish Borders, she said: “Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones - my own is no exception - but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness.”

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