The world’s oldest monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, greeted thousands of well-wishers from across Britain and beyond as she celebrated her 90th birthday on Thursday.
Usually, the queen’s birthday passes with little ceremony, but to mark Thursday’s milestone, she mingled with crowds during a lengthy walkabout near her Windsor Castle home, west of London.
The queen then drove through Windsor in an open-topped car with Prince Philip, her husband of 68 years by her side.
This is a rare move in recent years, demonstrating her intent to keep doing the job she has performed for more than six decades.
Close aides say Elizabeth, who has been on the throne for 64 years, is by far the oldest monarch in British history.
Donna Werner, who had travelled to Windsor from Connecticut in the U.S., said:”All of us are here to respect the queen and to show her our affection.
“This is to show how much we appreciate all her years of service and to wish her a happy birthday,” Werner said.
There were also artillery gun salutes in London and other British cities, while the Houses of Parliament were to be illuminated later in red, white and blue.
Later, the queen is expected to light a beacon, the first of about 1,000 across Britain and worldwide to mark the occasion.
Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth shows no signs of retiring let alone abdicating.
Not only has Britain’s longest-reigning monarch already beaten the average U.K. life expectancy by nine years, she’s also among the top 25 richest people in the world. Just accounting for the tangible assets of the U.K. monarchy, the Queen sits on about £20 billion, or $28.8 billion, according to strategy consultancy Brand Finance. (Reuters/NAN/MarketWatch)