Queen Elizabeth II has become the longest-reigning monarch, new commemorative coins and British Prime Minister David Cameron lends two portraits for a new exhibition in London.

The Longest Reigning Monarch

Buckingham Palace released a new photo of the Queen to commemorate this historic milestone in British and Commonwealth history.

This photograph of The Queen by the renowned British photographer Mary McCartney has been released to mark the moment Her Majesty becomes the longest reigning British Monarch later today. The photograph was taken at Buckingham Palace in July in The Queen’s private audience room. Her Majesty is seated at her desk, with one of her official red boxes. It is here that Her Majesty has received her Prime Ministers for their weekly audiences and other guests such as visiting Heads of State and Government, including President Obama and Chancellor Merkel. In her constitutional role as Head of State, an essential element of Her Majesty’s work involves the red boxes that she has received almost every day of her reign, including weekends and holidays, but excluding Christmas Day. The red box contains important papers from government ministers in the United Kingdom and her Realms and from her representatives across the Commonwealth and beyond.  These documents are sent from the Private Secretary’s Office to The Queen, wherever she may be in residence, in a locked red despatch box. While all government boxes bear the Royal cipher, only Her Majesty’s box is embossed with the words ‘The Queen’. The Queen reads all of the papers and, where necessary, approves and signs relevant papers. The Queen still receives documents in the boxes that were made for her upon her Coronation.  These have been periodically refurbished to keep them in good condition. The company Barrow and Gale Ltd are the manufacturer of the red despatch boxes to The Queen and to Her Majesty’s Government. © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

A photo posted by The British Monarchy (@the_british_monarchy) on

Borders Railway, Scotland

It was business as usual as Queen Elizabeth opened the Borders Railway in Scotland, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and HRH Prince Philip looking on.

The Queen did have some trouble trying to find her glasses in her handbag just before the official opening.

Royal Australian Mint Commemorative Coins

The Royal Australian Mint has released a selection of beautifully designed collectible coins to mark Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest-reigning monarch in British and Australian History.

Longest-reigning monarch $5 Silver Coin. Photo: © Royal Australian Mint
Longest-reigning monarch $5 Silver Coin. Photo: © Royal Australian Mint

Visit the Royal Australian Mint Shop for more details.

Longest-reignign monarch commemorative 50c coin. Photo: Photo: © Royal Australian Mint
Longest-reignign monarch commemorative 50c coin. Photo: Photo: © Royal Australian Mint

Australia Post also released some commemorative stamps, which were mentioned in last week’s show.

Van Dyck Portraits On Loan From Chequers

Find out why British Prime Minister David Cameron has loaned two portraits for an exhibition from his country home, Chequers, with a self-portrait of the artist (seen below with Duchess of Cambridge in March 2015).

Visit the National Portrait Gallery for more details about Van Dyck: Transforming British Art exhibition.

The Monarchy In Australia

Read about The Monarchy in Australia, which was published on Royal Central on Monday, 7 September 2015.

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