To mark The Queen becoming Britain’s longest reigning monarch, 30 British Airways pilots, cabin crew and ground staff in the uniforms they wore when they flew with Her Majesty, gathered at Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport to raise a flag to one of the world’s wealthiest women

HRH Princess Elizabeth on January 31 1952
HRH Princess Elizabeth on January 31 1952

British Airways has released photographs from its Speedbird Heritage Centre, including the first telegram sent to Her Royal Highness as Queen.

On January 31, 1952, British Airways’ predecessor, BOAC, flew Her Royal Highness, the Princess Elizabeth to East Africa on the first stage of a Commonwealth tour.

The Queen and HRH Prince Philip .
The Queen and HRH Prince Philip.

A week later, following the death of her father His Majesty King George VI, she was flown back on a BOAC Argonaut as Queen Elizabeth II.

The British Airways museum has the original telegram received on the flight home from the Queen Mother to her daughter, which read:

BA staff greet the new Queen's arrival home from Africa, on February 7 1952
BA staff greet the new Queen’s arrival home from Africa, on February 7 1952

To: Her Majesty The Queen

All my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mummie, 

Buckingham Palace

The airline also has a copy of the original flight path plan, topped with the image of a crown to depict the flight The Queen returned to the UK on.

The Captain’s original log-book remains in the British Airways Speedbird Heritage Centre.