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Princess Elizabeth was never meant to become queen, let alone the longest-serving monarch in the storied history of British royalty.

Her father, in fact, was never meant to become king.

But on Monday, after nearly a lifetime of service to country and crown, Elizabeth II will commemorate her 65th anniversary as queen. She will become the only British monarch ever to celebrate her Sapphire Jubilee.

It is a role that most Britons — whether royalist or republican — would agree that she has fulfilled with caution, dignity and an unending sense of duty.

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Image: 1947 royal weddingThen-Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, pose with King George VI and other members of the royal family after their wedding on Nov. 20, 1947. Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive / Getty Images – file

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Click link below for article, video and photos:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/queen-elizabeth-ii-marks-65-years-britain-s-throne-n716376

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