Tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest serving monarch in British history, supplanting her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years 216 days.
After her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated, Elizabeth unexpectedly became second-in-line to the throne. The queen's reign began on February 6, 1952 when her father, King George VI, died. Elizabeth II's coronation took place on June 2, 1953 and was the first to be aired on television.
At the time of Her Majesty's accession, James Cardinal McGuigan was the Archbishop of Toronto. As the senior cardinal and ranking prelate of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada, His Eminence sent words of sympathy and acknowledgement to the new Queen of Canada. In the archives, we have the monarch's brief response, sent via telegraph:
The queen signs official documents "Elizabeth R". The "R'' stands for regina, which is Latin for queen.