Crowds of people cheered on Queen Elizabeth II as she boarded a steam locomotive at Edinburgh's Waverley station on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Crowds greeted her arrival, with her accompanied by husband Prince Philip, who has been at her side throughout her reign, as she was met by Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Edinburgh's Waverley station.

Crowds cheered and waved flags as the monarch then began a journey on a steam train to mark the opening of the longest railway to be built in Britain for more than 100 years. The Queen smiled broadly as she boarded the train drawn by the steam locomotive Union of South Africa. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said she might make a rare public speech afterwards.

Queen Elizabeth II: The life and legacy of Britain's longest reigning monarchIBTimes UK

At about 5.30pm on 9 September, the Queen, who now aged 89 is also the nation's oldest ever monarch, will surpass the 63 years, seven months, two days, 16 hours and 23 minutes that her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria spent on the throne.

Initially, the Queen did not intend to mark the event publicly but she bowed to public pressure and undertook an official engagement in Scotland, where she traditionally spends her summer holiday.