1000 beacons acted as the candles on the birthday cake, as they were lit across the country last night on The Queen’s 90th birthday. The day was ended with a private dinner with her extended family at Windsor Castle.
Following a celebratory walkabout in Windsor earlier in the day, The Queen was joined by Prince Philip, and Prince Charles and Camilla to light the first beacon of the 1,000 in celebration of Her Majesty’s milestone birthday.
Charles greeted his mother with a kiss to the hand, before he made a short speech in her honour:
“Your Majesty… Mummy. I find it very hard to believe that you’ve reached your 90th year and I suddenly realised the other day that I have known you since you were 22 years old.
“But this, ladies and gentleman, is a very special occasion and this beacon that Her Majesty is about to light will also represent – as it lights other beacons across the nation – the love and affection with which you are held throughout this country and the Commonwealth.
“So can we wish your majesty a special and the most happiest of birthdays on this occasion.”
He ended the speech with three cheers for the Sovereign, to which the crowd responded rapturously.
Her Majesty then took her place at the lighting station, where she used a torch to send a spark down the line to the gas-fuelled beacon.
The Army Cadet Force have created beacons on the highest peaks of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the occasion. Other locations with beacons include Whitby Abbey and the Tower of London.
Earlier in the day, Her Majesty did a walkabout outside Windsor Castle for well-wishers who wanted to congratulate the Sovereign on her special day. She looked radiant in spring green with The Duke of Edinburgh at her side as she became the oldest British Monarch in history.
It was at Guildhall that The Queen was presented with a birthday cake by the Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain. The orange drizzle cake with a butter cream and marmalade filling had been covered in Royal purple and gold icing.
Elizabeth also unveiled a plaque marking The Queen’s Walkway – a 6.3km trail that links 63 significant points in Windsor.
The private dinner was attended by Her Majesty’s entire extended family, including William, Catherine and Harry, who were spotted leaving Kensington Palace, and The Queen’s cousins and their children.
— Victoria Howard (@TheRoyalExpert) April 21, 2016