The United Kingdom is marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday on Thursday, with celebrations across the country. Several royal gun salutes were fired in UK’s capital cities, and the Queen greeted the crowds during a walkabout in the streets of Windsor. Later tonight, she will officially light the first of more than 900 beacons across the U.K. and the world to mark the joyous occasion. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, recorded a special radio broadcast in which he read an excerpt from William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. In a tribute to the House of Commons, PM David Cameron praised her for being steadfast, “a rock of strength for our nation, for our Commonwealth and on many occasions for the whole world.” With the times as always, the Queen thanked people on Twitter for sending her happy birthday messages and tweeted: “I send my best wishes to those who are celebrating their 90th birthday…on this shared occasion, I send my warm congratulations to you.”
- Queen Elizabeth II with her daughter, The Princess Royal, in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle on April 20, 2016.
- Queen Elizabeth II with her five great-grandchildren and her two youngest grandchildren in the Green Drawing Room, part of Windsor Castle’s semi-State apartments. The children are: James, Viscount Severn (left), 8, and Lady Louise (second left), 12, the children of The Earl and Countess of Wessex; Mia Tindall (holding The Queen’s handbag), the two year-old-daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall; Savannah (third right), 5, and Isla Phillips (right), 3, daughters of The Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn; Prince George (second right), 2, and in The Queen’s arms and in the tradition of Royal portraiture, the youngest great-grandchild, Princess Charlotte (11 months), children of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on April 20, 2016.
- Queen Elizabeth II poses in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the steps at the rear of the East Terrace and East Garden with four of her dogs: clockwise from top left Willow (corgi), Vulcan (dorgie), Candy (dorgie) and Holly (corgi) on April 20, 2016.
- (L-R) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge pose during a Royal Mail photoshoot for a stamp sheet to mark the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2015 in London, England. (
- Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II tours the Royal Mail Windsor postal delivery office in Windsor, west of London, on April 20, 2016, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Postal Service. Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday on April 21, with a family gathering.
- Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday on April 21, with her eldest son Prince Charles paying tribute in a special radio broadcast and Prime Minister David Cameron leading a parliamentary homage.
- Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) smiles as she sits with her husband Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) and the Mayor of Windsor, Eileen ‘Dee’ Quick, during the opening of a bandstand at Alexandra Gardens in Windsor, west of London, on April 20, 2016, the day before her 90th birthday.
For the occasion, three photographs by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz were released: one showing the Queen with her five great-grandchildren and her two youngest grandchildren, another informal picture with her daughter Princess Anne and a final one on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where she poses with four of her dogs. Of course, even a Queen’s birthday is not complete without cake — so the UK’s longest-reigning monarch will be feted with a birthday cake by reality TV’s Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain, who prepared an orange drizzle cake with a butter cream and marmalade filling for Her Majesty.
Finally, finishing off her “birthday week” in style, she will be joined for lunch on Friday at Windsor Castle by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Read the full story at the BBC.