Thousands of schoolchildren in Hartlepool will have a lasting memento to mark the Queen’s becoming Britain’s longest serving monarch.
About 8,000 school pupils in Hartlepool will be given a commemorative medal to acknowledge the date when Her Majesty the Queen has ruled for longer than her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
Hartlepool Borough Council is also flying a flag at the Civic Centre in Victoria Road to mark the occasion.
Councillor Chris Simmons, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Children’s Services Policy Committee, said: “To mark this historic occasion, we have teamed up with local schools to ensure that every primary school child in the town will receive a commemorative medal.
“The medal is presented in a protective case and will be given to all 8,000 primary school pupils across Hartlepool.
“There is a long tradition in this country of providing schoolchildren with a memento to mark significant royal events, and initiatives like this can only help to instil a sense of history in our school children.
“We are aware that many schools have organised special assemblies to mark this historic occasion and plan to link the celebration into school work during the next week.”
The exact moment the Queen passes Victoria’s milestone is not known as there is no precise time for the death of her father George VI, who died in the early hours of February 6, 1952.
But it is thought he probably died at 1am, so at about 5.30pm the Queen will make history as Buckingham Palace has calculated she will have reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes, a few minutes longer than Victoria.
The Queen has visited Hartlepool and East Durham several times since her reign started.
Huge crowds gathered at a sun-soaked Hartlepool Marina and the Rossmere area for the visit of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip on May 18, 1993 to open the Teesside Development Corporation’s £165million marina and the Maritime Heritage Centre.
Shortly after arriving off Hartlepool aboard the Royal Yacht, the royal party disembarked on a barge and arrived at the marina lock gates to be met by local dignitaries and huge crowds.
After the duties in the marina including a tour of HMS Trincomalee which was undergoing restoration work at the time, it was off to meet the residents of the Bramley Court sheltered housing complex at Rossmere.
To complete the day as the Royal Yacht slipped its moorings in the evening at Irvine Quay a grand fireworks display was held at the marina watched by an estimated 200,000 spectators.
Her Royal Highness has also visited Billingham Forum and the Easington Pit Disaster Garden, as pictured, during her reign.
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