British expats in UAE happy, proud as Elizabeth outrules Victoria
File photo of Queen Elizabeth II sitting in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace in London looking at some of the cards which have been sent to her for her 80th birthday.
Today, Queen Elizabeth II is making history by surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and two months as Britain's monarch.
At 89, Elizabeth Windsor isn't your typical old age pensioner. Her life story is a little more unique. Mother to three boys and a girl, Elizabeth is now the longest-reigning monarch in British history, though many of you may know her better as the Queen.
Today, Queen Elizabeth II is making history by surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and two months as Britain's monarch. Though her small 5ft 3inch frame is far from intimidating, her devotion to her country has stood tall for more than six decades.
Also read: World's longest-reigning monarchs
Calling the day a "milestone in our history", British Consul-General in Dubai and Northern Emirates, Paul Fox, commended the Queen's long-running role as the country's monarch.
"Her Majesty the Queen has been unselfishly serving our nation with her unwavering devotion to duty for the past 64 years. Like many British people back home, in the UAE and around the world, we are all great admirers of the Queen for her longevity and hard work, her dedication and patriotism. We extend our gratitude for Her Majesty's service."
In 1952, at the tender age of 25, life as Elizabeth knew it changed. After being bestowed the role of Queen at a time when Joseph Stalin was still the leader of the USSR, her life was a far cry from anyone else her age. She had a country to run. Now Queen of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations, Queen Elizabeth's presence around the world is strong.
With more than 100,000 British expatriates waving the UK's flag in her honour, Khaleej Times spoke to some influential British citizens in the UAE.
For chief executive of Dubai Airports and vice-president of the Royal College of Organists, Paul Griffiths, the Queen has been a source of inspiration.
In June this year, the talented organist was selected for the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for the Queen's birthday honours.
"For longer than the living memory of most people on earth, Queen Elizabeth II has been a source of inspiration for millions of people around the world, not only for her sovereignty and tireless dedication to duty over such a long period, but for her ... commitment and engagement which has warmed so many hearts for more than seven decades."
Next month, Griffiths will be meeting the Queen to receive his reward and it's a day which can't come quick enough.
Sandra Owen is another Dubai-based UK citizen recognised for her services to the UK overseas. Governor at the British Community Assistance Fund, Owen was recently made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Though she will not be in the country to celebrate with her fellow patriots, she said she will "be there with the people of Britain in spirit".
"I am so proud to be British. Our Queen is the most admired royal in the world, and she is my Queen! That's a wonderful feeling," she told Khaleej Times.
Queen Elizabeth has made two state visits to the UAE since taking the throne in 1952. Her first visit was in 1979 where she met with the UAE's founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan; and her second was in 2010, when she visited Abu Dhabi's Shaikh Zayed grand mosque.