in September last year the Queen became Britain’s longest serving monarch surpassing the reign of her great great grandmother Victoria whose reign lasted 63 years and 216 days. This summer she has celebrated her 90th birthday alongside her husband Prince Philip, five years her senior.
Though her actual birthday is 21st April the tradition of a second celebration began 1748 with George II who was born in November and felt the weather too cold to hold his birthday parade at that time of year. Instead he combined his celebrations with an annual military parade known as Trooping the Colour. The event is held in June every year and serves to familiarise troops with their regiment’s colours and flags so soldiers can quickly identify their unit on the battlefield. A pageant of 1,400 officers, 200 horses and musicians from 10 bands take part in the display at Horseguards Parade behind Whitehall.
Mother to Prince Charles, Princess Ann, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward she is now grandmother to eight and great-grandmother to three; Isla, Charlotte and George. Head of the family and head of the country – long may you reign.