The Queen may have been celebrating one of the most historic days of her reign as the longest-serving monarch, but it was business for usual as she carried out an engagement in Edinburgh, Scotland. And though she was said to be keen for celebrations to remain low-key, the 89-year-old sovereign extended her thanks to those who had sent well-wishes.
Speaking at Tweedbank station after opening the new Border Railway, the monarch said: “Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception – but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness,"
She added that the record was "not one to which I have ever aspired".
While at first delayed by the rain and fog, the royal and her husband Prince Philip were spotted arriving at Edinburgh Waverley train station on Wednesday morning.
Known for her bright and colourful outfits, the Queen ensured that she stood out from the crowd in a turquoise and indigo coat by Karl Ludwig and a hat by Angela Kelly.
The Queen carried on with engagements on the day she became Britain's longest-reigning monarch
Showing her impeccable eye for detail, Her Majesty also chose to pay tribute to Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother whose record she has broken, by wearing a bow brooch that was passed down to her by the late Victorian monarch.
Buckingham Palace has calculated that Queen Victoria reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes, and the Queen is due to officially pass that record at about 5:30pm on Wednesday.
She and Prince Philip, accompanied by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and some 150 selected guests, boarded the Union of South Africa steam train and travelled in style to Tweedbank station.
Her Majesty, 89, waves to crowds from the steam train
The Queen was opening the Borders Railway – the UK's biggest new domestic railway for more than a decade that cost approximately £294million to build.
Giving a cheery smile and a wave from her window seat, the popular monarch set off for the journey that lasted about an hour and a half. Halfway through she disembarked at Newtongrange to unveil a plaque commemorating her visit. She also gave a brief walkabout to greet locals.
The Queen, supported by her husband Prince Philip, greets Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh
Meanwhile, back in Balmoral where the Queen and Prince Philip have been residing, sources confirmed that the Cambridges had arrived to help celebrate Her Majesty's special day.
While the Queen had asked for no public celebrations, she is expected to hold a low-key private dinner with her husband Philip, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton at Balmoral.