To celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday on 21st April, we’ve collected some of our most treasured photos of The Queen throughout her 86 years.
Though you may be tempted to march to Windsor Castle, laden with sponge cake and party hats, The Queen will not be celebrating her birthday in the traditional sense on 21st April. Like most sovereigns that have ruled before her, Elizabeth II celebrates her official birthday in June, when the climate is more suited to festivities and less likely to be dampened by spring showers.
King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.
The Queen will usually spend her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.
Whilst we can’t offer any form of gun salute, we hope you enjoy these beautiful photos to celebrate the birth of Queen Elizabeth II. Happy birthday Your Majesty!
Above: 1950 Princess Anne is born on 15 August. Here she takes centre stage at Buckingham Palace on 21 October, the day of her christening. Also present are Vice Admiral the Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Princess Margarita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Hon Andrew Elphinstone, Princess Alice Countess of Athlone, and a young Prince Charles with his back to camera.
Above: 1944 A family photograph taken on Princess Elizabeth’s 18th birthday.
Above: 1952 Queen Elizabeth II’s first Trooping the Colour as monarch.
Above: 1980 The Queen Mother blows out the candle on her cake during a special gala night in honour of her 80th birthday, at the Royal Opera House, London.
Above: 2006 Queen Elizabeth II sits in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace in London as she looks at some of the cards which have been sent to her for her 80th birthday. Buckingham Palace revealed she had received 20,000 cards and 17,000 e-mails and the delighted Queen said:“I would like to thank the many thousands of people from this country and overseas who have sent me cards and messages on my 80th birthday.”
If you would like to send a personal message to The Queen in honour of her Diamond Jubilee, simply fill in your details below and we will send your congratulations to Her Majesty: