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Celebrations mark Queen’s 90th birthday

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Celebrations are galore around the country on the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, reports Asian Lite News.

Crowds lined the streets in Windsor as the monarch took part in a walkabout, and royal gun salutes have been fired from each of the UK’s capital cities.

The Prince of Wales recorded a special radio broadcast for the day, in which he read an edited passage from William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII.

The Queen, who was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh during her tour in Windsor, was presented with a birthday cake at the Guildhall by the Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain, who had created an orange drizzle cake with a butter cream and marmalade filling.

The monarch unveiled a plaque marking The Queen’s Walkway–a 6.3km trail that links 63 significant points in Windsor. The trail was designed to recognise the moment on 9 September 2015 that the monarch broke the record held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, by being on the throne for 63 years and seven months.queen

Later on Thursday, the Queen will light symbolic beacons in Windsor.

Most of the gun salutes were due to be 21 shots – the standard royal gun salute – at locations including Hillsborough Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Edinburgh Castle.

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery staged a 41-gun salute at midday in Hyde Park. And the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 62-gun salute across the Thames from the Tower of London at 13:00 BST.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the Queen had been `a rock of strength for our nation’ and the Commonwealth, as he and fellow politicians paid tribute in the House of Commons.

Mr Cameron was reported to have said, “Her Majesty The Queen has lived through some extraordinary times in our world. From the Second World War… to the rations with which she bought the material for her wedding dress, from presenting the World Cup to England at Wembley in 1966, to man landing on the moon three years later, from the end of the Cold War to peace in Northern Ireland. Throughout it all, as the sands of culture shift and the tides of politics ebb and flow, Her Majesty has been steadfast.”Prince Charles

Earlier, a photograph was released showing the monarch with young members of the Royal Family. The image, one of three taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, shows the Queen surrounded by her five great-grandchildren and her two youngest grandchildren. The other Leibovitz photographs show the monarch walking in the grounds of Windsor Castle with four of her dogs and sitting with her daughter, the Princess Royal.

To coincide with the Queen’s birthday, the largest exhibition of the Queen’s clothes and accessories ever shown in Scotland will open at the Palace of Holyroodhouse later. The display has been selected to cover the Queen’s life and reign, and includes evening and day wear.

On Friday, US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be joining the Queen for lunch at Windsor Castle. Every year the Queen celebrates two birthdays, with her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. Celebrations of her official birthday this year take place from 10-12 June.