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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth celebrates 91st birthday – VIDEO

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the world’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, celebrated her 91st birthday in a usual low-key fashion on Friday.

Artillery gun salutes in London’s Hyde Park and at the Tower of London will mark the occasion although the queen, who normally spends her birthday privately, has no formal engagements planned herself.

Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926 in Bruton Street in central London when Calvin Coolidge was U.S. President and Joseph Stalin had just taken control in the Soviet Union and becamequeen in 1952 at 25.

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Despite her age, she still regularly carries out official duties although she has cut back on the number of engagements in recent years, passing these onto other members of the Windsor family such as to her son and heir Prince Charles and grandsons, Princes William and Harry.

Facts about the Queen

The Queen’s real birthday is on April 21st, but the official birthday of a monarch in England is celebrated in June, a customintroduced in the reign of Edward VII to allow a summer celebration of the monarch’s birthday. The date is not fixed but always falls on a Saturday.

The Queen’s nickname when she was a child was Lilibet, believed to have originated from her inability to pronounce ‘Elizabeth’ properly. The Duke of Edinburgh is also known to affectionately call her ‘Cabbage’.

During her reignm the Queen has owned more than 30 corgis, starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944. Now she has only two corgis, Holly and Willow. She is also known to be allergic to cats.

Elizabeth learned to drive in 1945 when she joined the women’s branch of the British Army and it is said she is the only member of the Royal Family who has been trained to change a spark plug.

The Queen’s Coronation in 1953 was the first to be fully televised.  Her robes were so heavy that she asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to give her a push, saying “Get me started.”

Elizabeth sent her first email in 1976 from an Army base.


The Queen anniversary
The Queen anniversary

Polls show she remains very popular amongst Britons and royal aides say there is little prospect of her abdicating. Asked if she was well during a trip to Northern Ireland last year, she quipped “Well, I’m still alive”.

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The Queen anniversary
The Queen anniversary

The queen has an official birthday in June which is publicly marked with a large parade of soldiers through central London, known as Trooping the Colour.

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