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London celebrates the 63-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II in true regal fashion

Today, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the UK's longest serving monarch - surpassing Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years, seven months and two days.
To mark this momentous milestone, many of the capital’s attractions, hotels and retailers are getting into the royal spirit with themed afternoon teas, special displays and citywide festivities.

At midday today, a flotilla of historic vessels, leisure cruisers and passenger boats will take part in a procession on the River Thames. The ‘Royal River Salute’ is part of London’s annual Totally Thames Festival, which takes place throughout September.  

Visitors to Buckingham Palace will enjoy a special outdoor photographic display, shown in the inner Quadrangle of the official residences - an area that is not normally included in the visitor route. Images include official portraits and photographs of Her Majesty undertaking visits in the UK and across the Commonwealth, as well as those capturing informal family moments. Kensington Palace is also marking this special occasion with a new film installation celebrating the reign of Her Majesty The Queen, and of her predecessor as longest serving monarch, Queen Victoria.   

Madame Tussauds have also unveiled a new dress for their waxwork of the Queen, a replica of the gown worn by Her Royal Highness in 2012 for her official Diamond Jubilee photographs, whilst the Thames Rib Experience will be providing Royal novelty masks and will play Rule Britannia amongst other patriotic songs on board their speedboat voyages throughout the day.  

No London royal celebration would be complete without afternoon tea and there are plenty of opportunities to indulge, including a Royal-themed afternoon tea at InterContinental London Park Lane, which is located on the site of 145 Piccadilly, the former childhood residence of Queen Elizabeth II. St James's Court, a Taj Hotel is also offering a lavish afternoon tea which includes scones prepared according to Her Majesty's own instructions.  

Those wishing to purchase their own special tea to mark the occasion need look no further than Fortnum & Mason, which will be launching a Queen’s Blend Tea in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The famous Royal Warrant holders will also showcase a beautiful window display of ‘the Longest Reign’ from today onwards.   

Chris Gottlieb, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company for London said: “This very special milestone wasn’t going to go unnoticed in the capital and it’s fantastic to see the range of festivities on offer for visitors and Londoners in honour of our longest-serving monarch.  

“In 2014 London welcomed a record 17.4 million international visitors, many attracted by the capital’s royal heritage and cultural landmarks - particularly those from North America. We envisage that historic milestones such as these, along with the spectacular programme of blockbuster exhibitions and theatre on offer this autumn, will continue to drive London’s momentum”.

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