The extended Royal Family gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral today, to attend a thanksgiving service for The Queen’s 90th Birthday. Her Majesty was joined by the likes of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, as well as Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and celebrity guests including Sir David Attenborough and Clare Balding.
Beginning shortly after 11, as The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh got stuck in London traffic, the Royal couple arrived to cheers from crowds outside on today, Prince Philip’s 95th birthday.
It was the Dean of St Paul’s, David Ison, who began the service, by thanking Her Majesty for her ‘”faithful devotion, dutiful commitment, loving leadership, gentle constancy, Royal dignity and kindly humanity’.
“And, as we give thanks for Her Majesty, so also do we give thanks for Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and all the Royal Family: for mutual love and support and for service to this country and to the Commonwealth.”
Throughout the course of her 90 years, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said Elizabeth II had reigned through ‘war and hardship, turmoil and change’.
Looking sunny in yellow, Her Majesty appeared to enjoy the variety of readings, prayers, hymns and performances, which included a piano solo from the BBC young musician of the year, .
Readings were given by notable figures, including David Cameron and Sir David Attenborough. The Prime Minister read a passage from the Bible – – while Attenborough voiced a piece written by Michael Bond, author of the Paddington Bear books, on ‘the passing of the years’, a number of reflections on his life; the pair also turned 90 in 2016, just like The Queen.
Clare Balding, whose family have been trainers of The Queen’s horses for generations, read a special prayer, representing the world of horse racing. The Commonwealth, the Armed Forces and other organisations were represented in the prayer too.
It wasn’t just senior Royals in attendance – the extended family joined in the celebration, which was more of a personal service than usual. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent’s children – Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriela – were seen sitting behind Prince William and Catherine, while Earl Ulster and his wife (son and dauhgter-in-law of The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester) were placed behind The Queen and Philip.
Aristocrats, politicians, religious leaders and members of the public made up the rest of the 2,000-strong congregation.
Following the service, the younger Royals – William, Kate, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie, Sophie, Edward, Zara, Mike Tindall, and Amelia Windsor to name but a few – headed to a reception Guildhall. Here, Prince Harry told guests the best birthday present his grandmother could receive get would be a ‘day off so she could lie about and do nothing’.
However, The Queen continued her day with a lunch for the Governors-General of the realms, who represent The Queen in Commonwealth countries, at Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles and Camilla.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall meet visiting Governors-General at Buckingham Palace. pic.twitter.com/rHb4nlRCfL
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) June 10, 2016