Queen Elizabeth II March 2015.jpgQueen Elizabeth turns 90 on Thursday, April 21.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although Queen Elizabeth II was born in April, her official birthday is celebrated in June with the Trooping of the Colour.

I read some years ago that the date in June began with Edward VII, who was born in November.  The weather here was too inclement for him for public celebrations in late autumn, so he transferred it to the present time, although it did not appear to be the annual event that it is today.

As such, it is work as usual for the Queen this week in Windsor. Wednesday, April 20 marks the 500th anniversary of the Postal Service. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will visit the Royal Mail delivery office in William Street, Windsor. They will be able to meet postal workers who will explain how the latest technology enables more efficient service. Her Majesty will unveil a plaque marking the visit and The Royal Mail choir made up of frontline staff from Bristol will sing.

Afterwards, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will go to Alexandra Gardens to open the new bandstand. The Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire will show them an exhibition about the bandstand and introduce them to local schoolchildren who helped to decorate it. The Queen will unveil a commemorative plaque.

On April 21, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will undertake a walkabout in Windsor. Her Majesty will unveil a plaque at The Queen’s Walkway, which is 6.3km long and marks 63 significant points of interest in the town. The Outdoor Trust designed the Walkway in honour of the Queen as Britain’s longest serving monarch on September 9, 2015.

That evening, the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, will light a beacon and see two other beacons lit to begin a period of national birthday celebrations. Several hundred more will be lit around the country and a number of local councils will host beacon-lighting ceremonies open to the public.

The Radio Times reports that a very private birthday celebration will take place at Windsor Castle (16-22 April, p. 12). Actor and singer Julian Ovenden, 39, will be performing. Some might remember him from Downton Abbey; he played ‘the dashing’ (their words) Charles Blake. He is there partly thanks to his father, Canon John Ovenden, who was the Queen’s chaplain for 14 years until his retirement in 2012. As the family home adjoined the church where he took the services, the Ovenden family got to know members of the Royal Family who dropped by at Christmas for mince pies. Ovenden told the Radio Times he was not sure who else, if anyone, would be entertaining the Queen and her guests.

The Telegraph has information on 90th birthday events in May and June. Between May 12 and May 15, a pageant with 1,500 performers and 900 horses will take place in Windsor. The Queen will attend the final performance. All tickets have been allocated, but the event will be televised on ITV that evening.

Celebrations move to London in June. A Service of Thanksgiving will take place on June 10 at St Paul’s Cathedral. The event is private but will be televised. The Duke of Edinburgh turns 95 that day, incidentally.

On June 11, the Trooping of the Colour will take place in Horse Guards Parade, marking the Queen’s official birthday.

The Patron’s Lunch takes place in the Mall on June 12 and is the final major event of the Queen’s birthday celebrations. This street party and picnic lunch celebrates her patronage of over 600 charities. Most people attending will be charity workers.

Below is a retrospective of my posts about our remarkable monarch:

A look at the British Monarchy on the Queen’s official birthday (2011)

On the cusp of Diamond Jubilee Weekend — facts about the Queen and the 1950s (2012)

Prayers of thanksgiving for our gracious Queen on her Diamond Jubilee (2012)

‘Elizabeth the Great’ — Diamond Jubilee sentiments (2012)

Palace intrigue: background to Queen Elizabeth’s ascent to the throne (2013)

The Queen as you’ve never seen her (2015)

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