The Queen Turns 90

This year, all eyes are on the Queen as she turns 90. A milestone in anyone’s lifetime, but particularly exciting when you’re the head of state for the UK and 15 Commonwealth realms with millions of people who want to celebrate with you. As Queen, she gets to have two birthdays (wouldn’t you?). Her actual birthday was on 21 April, which began this year’s national celebrations. Everything culminates on 11 June – her official birthday – with major London events that week.

In 2007, Her Majesty overtook Queen Victoria as the longest living sovereign and the records have kept on breaking since then. Last year she became our longest-serving monarch – she has enjoyed more than 63 years on the throne. And the Queen and Prince Philip have the longest royal marriage in history; they wed in 1947.

She has seen 12 prime ministers, four recessions and a technological revolution, not to mention countless family scandals. Affairs, drug use, heavy drinking, divorce, tell-all interviews, undercover photos… she’s endured it all as mother and grandmother to some colourful characters, while juggling her charitable work and public duties with poise. Ceremonies, receptions, state visits – the Queen’s working life is a busy one. At an age when most of us would be retired, she undertakes more than 400 engagements a year.
 If you can’t make it to the official events, look out for parties, exhibits and souvenirs across the capital that are marking the milestone. Stop off for a glass of gin and Dubonnet, Her Majesty’s tipple of choice, and say the loyal toast, which is simply: ‘The Queen’. Happy birthday, ma’am!

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