Sept. 9, 2015 marks the day that Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 63 years and 217 days, making her rule longer than any other British monarch in history. The previous record was set by Queen Victoria, Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother.
Her road to the crown is a fascinating one and starts with her uncle, King Edward VIII. Less than a year after his coronation, he abdicated the throne in order to pursue a relationship with an American woman who had been twice divorced. It not only created one of the biggest royal scandals of the century, but it also allowed Elizabeth to take the crown following the death of her father and Edward's younger brother, King George VI.
Though the British monarchy does not currently have the absolute power it once had, Queen Elizabeth II is still an important political figure. Her legacy is impressive and worth knowing about.
Here are 20 facts about her majesty, in honor of her record-breaking reign.
1. The Crown legally owns every dolphin, whale and sturgeon up to three miles away from Britain's shore because of a claim made by King Edward II in 1324.
2. There have been 12 U.S. Presidents since she was coronated. President Truman was in office when she became queen.
3. Though she was married before she was crowned, her husband's title is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg — not King Philip. There are complicated rules behind this, but essentially, men who marry women of a higher stature are not given titles that would outrank the wife.
4. She has visited 116 countries during her rule, but rarely uses a translator because she is multilingual.
5. In 1945, Elizabeth (then a princess) served in the Army as a mechanic.
6. Queen Elizabeth loves corgis and has owned more than 30 of them since taking the crown.
7. Queen Elizabeth is a keen photographer who often takes pictures during her diplomatic trips.
8. She was the first British monarch to visit China and did so in 1986.
9. In accordance with post-war austerity, she collected clothing coupons to purchase her wedding gown.
10. Queen Elizabeth is also known as the "Great Mimicker" due to her ability to do impressions of certain politicians and dignitaries.
11. Her majesty is the only person in Britain permitted to drive without a license plate.
12. Exotic animals she receives as gifts are cared for at the London Zoo, including a jaguar and a sloth.
13. She became the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee (a 50th anniversary on the throne) in 2002.
14. The Queen has held regular meetings on Tuesdays with every prime minister since Winston Churchill.
15. When Queen Elizabeth welcomed Pope Paul II at Buckingham Palace in 1982, it was the first time a pontiff visited Britain in 450 years.
16. Queen Elizabeth has visited the Iron Throne used on the show "Game Of Thrones," but did not sit on it due to a rule that she cannot sit upon a foreign throne.
17. Her likeness has been made into a wax statue more than 20 times for display at Madame Tussauds.
18. Queen Elizabeth gives Christmas presents to her entire staff every year.
19. Elizabeth would need to rule for 13 more years to become the longest-reigning monarch in world history. The current title is held by Sobhuza II, who ruled Swaziland for 82 years, 254 days.