Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Queen at 90: birthday beacons

After a day in which millions joined in her birthday celebrations, the Queen ended the public festivities with an ancient royal tradition. She lit a beacon which led to blazes burning across the country to mark her special day. The bonfires illuminate the night sky as the day that Elizabeth II turned ninety comes to an end.

The Queen lights her birthday beacon on the day she became the first British monarch to turn 90
(photo British Monarchy Instagram)

Joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Elizabeth II walked out beneath the shadow of Windsor Castle to take part in this very regal tradition. And it soon became clear that although this was an historic and public event, there was a very personal side to it.

Her son and heir spoke affectionately of his mother and Queen as he invited the crowds still lining the streets to join him in wishing her a Happy Birthday. He told her that she was regarded with love and affection and he paid tribute to her devotion.  Then it was time for three cheers, led by Charles, which echoed through Windsor's ancient streets.

The Queen stepped forward to light the beacon and the end of a brilliant birthday blazed into life. Then it was inside the Castle for a private party hosted by Charles to end a day filled with history.

Elizabeth II has carved her name into the story of the British Monarchy many times and today she added a new chapter as she reached the age of ninety. A very happy birthday indeed.

There is a special page about the Queen at 90 here.

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