Queen attends Highland Games in Braemar as longest-reign milestone approaches


The Queen has made her annual appearance at a famous Highland Games today as she prepares to become Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

The Braemar Gathering is held a short distance from the royals' summer retreat on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

As patron of the event, the Queen, along with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales, joined thousands of spectators to cheer on competitors in the tossing of the caber and tug-of-war contests.

Pipe bands and dancers also performed to the crowd at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park.

Wearing a red jacket and hat, the Queen was presented with a posy of flowers before taking a seat in the park's pavilion to watch the action.

The gathering takes place on the first Saturday of every September and attracts visitors from around the world.

Queen Victoria first attended in 1848 and since then it has been regularly visited by the reigning monarch and other members of the Royal Family.

This week, the Queen will make history when she becomes the longest reigning British monarch, passing the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

Buckingham Palace has calculated that Victoria reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

On Wednesday, the day of the milestone, the Queen is set to open the new Scottish Borders Railway and take a steam train ride on the £294 million railway with Prince Philip.