Long to reign over us!

Long to reign over us is the perfect description of a Monarch who will celebrate a groundbreaking 70 years on the throne as Her Majesty The Queen has done.

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And visits to our area have proved to be a formative experience for a girl who became a princess then our queen as these archive photographs illustrate. They show a young woman who plainly had her own thoughts as she sped through town in a motorcade, then as a seasoned firgurehead who took pleasure in chatting with a delighted railway worker at Motherwell Station decades later.

The Queen would visit on other occasions too with at least one appearance shortly after her coronation in June 1953. And she would open Bellshill Maternity Hospital in July 1962. Another visit would see the Queen officially open the Taiwanese picture tubes firm Chunghwa in Mossend in 1997.

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Lord Lieutenant Lady Haughey said: “Over the last 70 years there have been massive changes in virtually all aspects of society.

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"Throughout this time Her Majesty the Queen has been a constant inspiration with her remarkable sense of duty and exceptional devotion to a life of service. The Platinum Jubilee is not only an opportunity to celebrate her reign but also to give heartfelt thanks for everything she has achieved serving the Nation and its people.”

And tomorrow (Thursday) a Lanarkshire Beacon will be lit at Strathclyde Country Park where it follows a long tradition of lighting beacons to celebrate jubilees. It is expected that there will be more than 1500 burning worldwide.