The Sapphire Queen: Elizabeth II's landmarks, the birthdays
The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday in 2016
(photo Lambeth Palace Twitter)
OK, we've had silver and gold and you know you're getting diamonds but as the lookback at the landmarks of Elizabeth II's reign continues, let's take a break from the Jubilees just for a moment and concentrate on a cake event. As well as major anniversaries, the Queen's record breaking reign has, of course, taken in big birthdays and some of them have turned into celebrations just as big as the jubilees. As Elizabeth II approaches the 65th anniversary of her reign, here's a look back at some other landmarks - the Queen's big birthdays.
The Queen marked her first big adult birthday, her 21st, in South Africa where she was on tour with her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and her sister, Princess Margaret. On the day of her majority, April 21st 1946, she gave a famous speech on the radio in which she said ''I declare that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service'. A birthday promise kept and kept well.
The Queen marked her 50th birthday with an informal official photo at the Tower of London. Well, for an historic moment you need an historic backdrop. It would be the last major landmark birthday with no widespread partying to accompany it. Here comes the biggies.
The Queen's 60th birthday set the template for the major celebrations that would accompany landmarks to come. There was a carriage procession through the streets of Windsor, a specially composed song with which she was serenaded and a balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace where huge crowds cheered her.
By the time her 80th birthday celebrations came around, in 2006, there was no holding back the festivities. The Queen was photographed sifting through some of the tens of thousands of cards sent to wish her a Happy Birthday and this was just the beginning of some serious partying.