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Queen’s reign reaches British record

The Queen, alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, greets crowds during the couple's 1953 call on the Island - Bermuda's first in her now record-setting reign(File photograph)

Today marks a milestone for Queen Elizabeth II: at 63 years, seven months and two days, her reign now overtakes that of Queen Victoria — making her the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

The Island has been visited several times during her record-setting rule, most recently in 2009 for Bermuda’s 400th anniversary celebrations.

However, locals 62 years ago enjoyed a moment of special pride when, on November 23, 1953, Bermuda welcomed its first visit from the freshly crowned Queen, which was also our first visit from a reigning monarch.

The Island served as the first stop on a six-month tour of the Commonwealth by the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Their visit came five months after her June 2, 1953 coronation.

Queen Elizabeth II had ascended to the throne in 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI, and it was her first trip to any country after she was formally crowned.

Regimental pomp, floral displays and ecstatic crowds attended their visit. With less than 24 hours to spend on the Island, the Royals toured local landmarks, including a parade through Hamilton, a cruise among the islands of the Great Sound, and a call on Parliament, with Governor Alexander Hood and his aide-de-camp.

Landmark visit: In this file photograph, the Queen, alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, greets crowds during the couple’s 1953 call on the Island — Bermuda’s first in her now record-setting reign