Longest to reign over us

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Blackpool and Rossall School in 1994. The Queen greets the crowds during a walkabout outside Blackpool Tower on July 22, 19941994
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Blackpool and Rossall School in 1994. The Queen greets the crowds during a walkabout outside Blackpool Tower on July 22, 19941994
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Today, the Queen becomes the longest-reigning British monarch.

And here we look back over some of her visits to Blackpool, taking in several of the resort’s landmark buildings.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Blackpool Opera House for the Royal Variety Performance on April 13 1955

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Blackpool Opera House for the Royal Variety Performance on April 13 1955

Queen Elizabeth II will pass the record set by her great, great grandmother Queen Victoria who, Buckingham Palace has calculated, reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes.

Her Majesty, who turned 89 in April, will pass Queen Victoria’s record and becomes the nation’s longest reigning monarch at around 5.30pm on Wednesday.

At this point she will have reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes – but the exact moment she became Queen is hard to calculate as George VI died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning, possibly at around 1am.

Since becoming Queen, on February 6 1952, the Queen has paid many visits to Blackpool.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Royal box at Blackpool Opera House for the Royal Variety Performance on April 13, 1955

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Royal box at Blackpool Opera House for the Royal Variety Performance on April 13, 1955

The Opera House, in the Winter Gardens, holds a key place in Royal history for the town, with the first Royal Command Performance – as the Royal Variety was then known – to take place outside of London being staged there in 1955.

At that show, by royal request, northern stars who featured included Tower clown Charlie Cairoli, Arthur Askey, Jimmy Jewel, Ben Warriss, George Formby, Albert Modley and Al Read.

Also taking part was Lancashire comedian Bill Waddington who later played Percy Sugden in Coronation Street.

And the resort became the only place outside of London to host a second Royal Variety Performance, when it returned to the vast theatre in 2009

The Queen meets Lady Gaga at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance at Blackpool Opera House

The Queen meets Lady Gaga at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance at Blackpool Opera House

That time around, there was a distinctly international flavour, with world-renouned pop stars Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and crooner Michael Buble all performing, as well as northern faces Peter Kay and Jason Manford.

On another of her trips to the coast, in 1994, Her Majesty visited the Grand Theatre, Rossall School and the Tower – where she visited the top of the monument as well as unveiling a commemorative mirror.