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Just like her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria before her, Elizabeth II was never expected to be crowned.  As the eldest daughter of the king’s second son, Prince Albert (later King George VI), hers was a life destined to be lived in relative privacy, but the 1936 abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, after a reign of only 325 days, changed the course of history.  Already the country’s longest-lived monarch and the world’s oldest-serving sovereign, at approximately 5.30pm this Wednesday September 9th Elizabeth will reach yet another milestone when she becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch, breaking Victoria’s record of sixty-three years seven months and two days…

(Please click the link below to read the article in full on CNN.com)