As the Crown Employee serving the royalty and Parliament from 1982 until 2002, this is a special blog entry. 63 Years - Sesdesiat tri Rokov - Sixty Three 63 Fotografs
No one is better qualified to write about parliamentary environment than my former boss, Dr Russell Cope. For over 30 years he was the Parliamentary Librarian of the New South Wales Parliament, and generations of parliamentary officers and students of Parliament have found his writings of great interest. Anybody can write a story about the parliamentary rituals, but only a great observer can consistently distill something profound from the stuff of everyday life at Parliament.
The Motto of the NSW Parliamentary Library “Knowledge is the Mother of Wisdom and Virtue"
I started at the NSW Parliamentary library on Level 6 - 175 years of the NSW Parliamentary Library
As if being crowned monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon was not enough activity for one day, Queen Elizabeth II also hosted a luncheon for visiting dignitaries on June 2, 1953. Media Dragon was still a twinkle of a star in a sky in 1953
Queen Elizabeth II becomes Britain's longest-reigning monarch later when she passes the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
Queen Elizabeth II the Longest-serving monarch live
She may have achieved a historic 63 years on the throne but the Queen is following Victoria's steps and has asked for no celebrations on 9 September
As of September 9, she has reigned longer than her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, who held the throne for 63 years and 216 days.
She has been a constant in an ever-changing world, and "embodies the history of the 20th century", historian Kate Williams said.
The Queen has met most of the major figures in recent history, from India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Japanese emperor Hirohito, to French general-turned-statesman Charles de Gaulle.
South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela called her "my friend", while her reign has seen the construction and destruction of the Berlin Wall.
The sprawling British empire of the Victorian era has shrunk to a few remnants during her reign.
Most recently, Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997.
Yet even in far-flung parts of the world, "when people refer to the Queen they almost always mean our Queen", said John Major, one of the 12 prime ministers to have held office during her reign.
While Britain's slender republican movement condemns a system based on inherited privilege, for many the Queen is a mainstay in a multi-ethnic country increasingly driven by regional divisions, including Scotland, which voted against independence last year.
Destined for marriage, not the throne: the ascent of 'Lilibet'The birth of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926 was a relatively minor event for a world teetering between two world wars and just three years away from the Great Depression.
The curly-haired "Lilibet" was destined for marriage, not the throne.
But after reigning for just 325 days, her childless uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American.
Princess Elizabeth's father inherited the crown as George VI and she suddenly became heir to the throne.
When the young Elizabeth and her sister Margaret had to move to Buckingham Palace she asked her nanny: "What, you mean forever?"
On her 21st birthday she vowed to spend her life serving her country.
On November 20, 1947 Elizabeth married Philip, a distant cousin, who renounced his titles as prince of Greece and Denmark and his career in the Royal Navy to be with her.
She has described him as "my strength and stay".
When George VI died in 1952 at the age of 56, Elizabeth became Queen aged just 25 and with two young children: Charles, born in 1948, and Anne, born in 1950.
Two more children came later: Andrew, who was born in 1960, and Edward, born in 1964.
Queen Elizabeth's first prime minister was Winston Churchill, a man who had served in the army of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
By the time the current holder of that job, David Cameron, was born in 1966, she had already been monarch for 14 years.
"The first time she saw [Cameron] he was playing a rabbit in a school production in which her son Prince Edward was taking part," royal historian Hugo Vickers said.
"He is the man from whom she now takes formal advice."
The Queen's role is highly ceremonial and she remains above the fray of politics.
Every year she reads out the program of the government of the day at the State Opening of Parliament.
Her voice remains neutral and high-pitched even when the proposals include measures she is suspected of opposing, such as banning the traditional sport of fox hunting.
"Ma'am", as her subjects address her, also presides over the Commonwealth — composed of 54 members, including 15 former colonies including Australia and Canada, where she is still the sovereign.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson said she had carried out some groundbreaking visits — including to China, the Vatican and the Cocos Islands — typically dressed in bright colours so she can be seen by everyone despite her petite size.
"The primary role of the monarchy is to sell the British brand and the Queen is very good at it," Mr Jobson said.
'Annus horribilis' to the revival of a more modern monarchyDespite the widespread respect she now commands, Queen Elizabeth's reign has had plenty of ups and downs.
In 1981, her son and heir Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a fairytale wedding that quickly turned sour despite the birth of their two sons, William and Harry.
She called 1992 her "annus horribilis" when the marriages of three of her children — Charles, Anne and Andrew — fell apart and her castle in Windsor was badly burnt in a fire.
In 1997, the Queen was accused of being out of touch.
While her subjects wept for the death of Diana in a Paris car crash, she remained at her country estate in Scotland for days before coming to acknowledge the crowds of mourners in London.
However, in the two decades since there has been a remarkable turnaround for the monarchy, aided by a powerful communications machine.
The Queen has cut palace budgets and Prince William's marriage to commoner Kate Middleton has helped create the image of a more modern monarchy.
Insiders let slip a love of crosswords and Dubonnet and ginHer son Charles, 66, is increasingly taking her place at public engagements, but experts agreed she would most likely hold her reign to the end, and not follow her Dutch and Spanish royal peers by abdicating.
"It's possible going forward if she wasn't feeling particularly well or was physically infirm that her son Prince Charles could act as regent," Mr Jobson said.
"Nobody is saying she would abdicate."
Elizabeth has visited 132 countries, posed for 139 portraits and given thousands of speeches, though never an interview.
Her private life is largely a mystery.
The monarchy's official website says she still goes horse riding and has 30 corgi dogs in her palaces.
Rare indiscretions from palace insiders have revealed her love of the Racing Post's horse racing tips, crossword puzzles and a Dubonnet and gin before lunch.