Perhaps they wanted the extra time to organise a party, or perhaps they were (foolishly) waiting for better weather, but this week, four months after the fact, Britain celebrates the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne.

Having passed George III's mark last year, the Queen is now the second-longest serving British monarch; she will overtake Queen Victoria in September 2015. (And another seven months or so from then to overtake the claimed reign of James Edward, the Old Pretender.)