Queen Elizabeth: The Life and Achievements of the Longest Reigning Monarch In British History

Queen Elizabeth: The Life and Achievements of the Longest Reigning Monarch In British History

by Alex Correa

Born in early April of 1926, Queen Elizabeth II– the child of Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon and George VI, ruled over the United Kingdom for a colossal 7 decades. She was not only the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch, but she was also the longest reigning female monarch known to man. However, this isn’t the only record broken by her unprecedented 70-year reign. 

The length of her reign is widely considered to be her most notable achievement, and it is not something that should be swiftly glossed over. Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8th at Balmoral Castle, United Kingdom, is currently listed as the longest reigning monarch in British history. This title was previously held by her great, great grandmother Queen Victoria, who ruled for just under 64 years and died at the age of 81 years old. Queen Elizabeth II is the third longest reigning monarch in all of known human history, only surpassed by Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), the former King of Thailand, and Louis XIV, the former King of France. 

According to Guinness World Records, Queen Elizabeth II also currently holds the record for being Head of State in most countries simultaneously. This record is a fairly controversial one, as many disagreed with her decision to maintain control of anywhere aside from the United Kingdom. Controversial or not, Queen Elizabeth II maintained her status as Head of State in a jaw-dropping 14 countries outside of the United Kingdom. This list includes Canada and many other countries across the Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean. Over her entire reign, Queen Elizabeth II held the title Head of State in 32 countries in total.

Queen Elizabeth II is also known as  the only ruler to have officially begun the Summer Olympic Games several times. Not only did she open the 1976 Summer Olympic Games held in Montreal, but over 30 years later, she returned to the games– which were being held in London at the time– in 2012, where she opened the games for a second time. 

While many of Queen Elizabeth II’s records were due to her incredibly long lifespan, some can be attributed to her abundant wealth. Queen Elizabeth II owned the largest private art collection ever known, according to Guinness World Records. The aforementioned gallery contained an approximate total of 450,000 photographs and a few thousand paintings. A great deal of this collection wasn’t exactly hers, though. A large portion of the former monarch’s assets belonged to the Royal Family as a whole, so they will be passed onto the incoming monarch, King Charles III. Queen Elizabeth II had a total net worth of approximately $430 million United States dollars at the time of her death according to the New York Times. The former monarch holds the world record of the world’s wealthiest queen.

While on the subject of currency, there is another currency-related record broken by the former Queen. Queen Elizabeth II was known for her charismatic attitude towards others, and she was very well liked across the globe. This resulted in her face being displayed on currencies in several places. According to Guinness World Records, Queen Elizabeth II now holds the record for the most currencies featuring the same individual.

All of her other notable qualities aside, these records will surely land Queen Elizabeth II’s name in a myriad of historical texts for years to come. It is likely that Queen Elizabeth II will remain a household name– despite her passing– all across the globe.