Posted: 12 May 2011 06:07 PM PDT
Only Queen Victoria — whose relatives and descendants make up a who's who of European royalty across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries — spent more time on the throne.
The 85-year-old Elizabeth II, who acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952, has now ruled for 59 years and 95 days, more than every other monarch bar Victoria in more than 1,000 years of British history when leap-year days are included.
The longevity of her reign pushes George III, who was king from 1760 until 1820 during the period that the United States won independence from Britain, into third place.
George suffered from mental illness in the latter part of his life which was documented in the successful film "The Madness of King George."
Buckingham Palace said there would be no celebration to mark the occasion. "It's business as usual," a spokesman said.
The queen, who celebrates her diamond jubilee next year, will become the longest reigning monarch in September 2015.
Last month, Prince Charles, 62, broke the record for spending the longest time as heir-to-the-throne. — ReutersFull Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
Posted: 12 May 2011 05:56 PM PDT
"The Chinese people also feel baffled — why do some people in some countries treat a crime suspect as a hero?" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news conference.
"The Chinese people are unhappy about this. No matter what influence they have had, they will be punished according to the law."
Hong's comments come after China said on Sunday that the United States was beset by violence, racism and torture and had no authority to condemn other governments' human rights problems, countering US criticism of Beijing's crackdown.
In Hungary, current holder of the European Union's rotating presidency, China's Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying said Ai was not raised during talks in Budapest with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"There are rules and laws in China that need to be applied just like here," Fu said. "And individuals, maybe they are your friends, maybe they agree with you more than others, but that should not make (them) ... above the law.
"It is very condescending for the Europeans to come in to tell China that some people are beyond the law," Fu said.
Ashton made no public comment on the artist. — ReutersFull Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.
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