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Who is the longest-serving monarch in British history?

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Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on 21 April 1926, in London, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947, and upon the death of her father, she became queen on 6 February 1952. She was crowned on 2 June 1953. Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-serving monarch in British history on 9 September 2015 when she surpassed her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria who had reigned for 63 years, 216 days. On 6 February 2017, after having reigned for 65 years, The Queen became the first British monarch to reach their Sapphire Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England, is also Canada's Queen, and sovereign of a number of other realms. As Canada is a constitutional monarchy: the Queen rules but does not govern.

As shown in the photograph, a monument in honour of Queen Elizabeth II was unveiled on 1 July 1992 on Parliament Hill (Ottawa, Ontario) as part of Canada's 125th anniversary celebrations and marking the 40th anniversary of her accession to the Throne. The equestrian statue was commissioned by the Government in 1990 and was designed and created by Jack Harman (31 July 1927 – 3 January 2001), the successful artist selected from a national competition. Queen Elizabeth is featured on her horse, Centenial – a gift from Canada in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – which was officially presented to Her Majesty in on 15 May 1977 at Windsor Castle. The bronze statue is one and a half times larger than life, standing at 4 metres tall. The base is made of granite from the Laurentians and measures 3.7 metres tall, 4.3 metres long and 1.5 metres wide. In total, the monument weighs 1225 kilograms. This was the world’s first equestrian statue of Her Majesty The Queen and is the only monument on Parliament Hill not erected posthumously. Due to the major rehabilitation of the Centre Block on Parliament Hill over the next 10 years, the Queen Elizabeth II Equestrian Monument was temporarily relocated in front of Rideau Hall's main gate on Sussex Drive and rededicated on 12 June 2019 by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette (b. 20 October 1963), Governor General of Canada.

On this day, 21 April 2022, we celebrate the 96th anniversary of the birth of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and mark more than 29 years since the unveiling of the first equestrian statue erected in her honour.

André M. Levesque

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