This year, on 21 April, Her Majesty The Queen reaches her 90th birthday – the first British monarch ever to reach this milestone! This is another in a long list of records to be broken by The Queen. Just last year, on 9 September 2015, The Queen became Britain’s longest reigning monarch when her reign surpassed that of her Grandmother Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years and 215 days. Not only is The Queen Britain’s longest reigning monarch, she has also conducted more royal visits than any other British monarch, undertaking more than 270 official overseas trips visiting 116 different countries. The Queen has opened fifteen bridges, launched 23 ships and is Patron of more than 600 charities.
Soon, it will be time to bring out the bunting again as the festivities begin! As celebrations will begin on April 21st in Windsor and will be drawn to a close with a street party along The Mall on Sunday 12 June.
So, exactly how will the nation be celebrating this momentous occasion?
The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations
Celebrations are to be held far and wide to mark this memorable moment, both official and unofficial, and while The Queen’s actual birthday is the 21st April, a variety of festivities are set to take place across a two month period, the focus of which being two celebratory weekends in May and June.
On April 21st, The Queen will attend a walkabout in Windsor, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. Later, The Queen will light a Principle Beacon which will start the proceedings of around 900 beacons which are due to be lit across the UK and worldwide to mark Her Majesty The Queen turning 90.
Following the beacon lighting event, official celebrations will continue in May when The Queen and Members of the Royal Family will attend a pageant at Home Park in Windsor Castle. This event will celebrate “The Queen’s life, her love of horses, her dedication to the Commonwealth and international affairs and her deep involvement with the Navy, Army and Air Force.” Across the weekend, 25,000 lucky ticket holders will be taken on a journey across the last 90-years, from the excitement of birth, through to the Second World War, marriage, coronation and a reign over 60 years – a story that will be told with the aid of horses, actors and dancers brought to fruition with a “kaleidoscope of memories and achievements.” You can find out more about this event here.
Traditionally, The Queen’s birthday is celebrated in June, when warmer weather is more likely, and this is when the official celebrations continue. Opening on Friday 10th when The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. Following this, on Saturday The Royal Family will gather for Trooping the Colour.
Trooping the Colour is a military ceremony that dates back to the early eighteenth century, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or ‘trooped’) down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers. Her Majesty accompanied by Members of the Royal Family will attend at The Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade.
And for the grand finale! On Sunday 12th, The Queen’s birthday celebrations will conclude at the Patron’s Lunch, a celebration of Her Majesty’s patronage of over 600 organisations in the UK and around the Commonwealth since 1952. The Mall in St James’s Park will be transformed to accommodate its largest ever street party, an “iconic event recognizing the iconic event recognizing the un-relenting support and service our Monarch has given to the community over her 63 reign.”
Why not join in and host your own street party?!
Aside from the official celebrations, councils are also encouraging people to host their own events and are join the birthday celebrations by having a street party in honour of Her Majesty. Amazingly 10,000 people applied to host a street party for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and we have a suspicion that this year there may be even more. So why not get involved, dust off the bunting, bring out the Coronation chicken and Victoria sponges and be a part of the national celebrations for Her Majesty! If you would like more information and guidance on hosting your own street party in honour of The Queen, see here.
A lasting reminder…
The Royal Mint has struck every official UK coin in The Queen’s reign and we have celebrated many happy moments with the Royal Family. As The Queen enjoys the festivities that have been planned for this historic event, it is a time for us all to celebrate and to remember for years to come.
From a young woman inheriting the throne, to a Queen whose commitment to her duties has won her the respect and admiration of people all over the world, Her Majesty The Queen has been a constant for the nation through decades of social change. Now, as she turns 90, the nation will celebrate with the Royal Family as we have done so on so many happy occasions. And, when the street parties are over, many will want a lasting reminder of this special moment in history.
In honour of this royal first, here at The Royal Mint we have struck a new, special edition £5 coin. Approved by The Queen herself, the coins are to be issued in a variety of finishes and metals, from Brilliant Uncirculated to high quality proof editions in Platinum, Gold and Silver.
The coin’s reverse has been designed by Christopher Hobbs, an acclaimed painter, sculptor and illustrator. His design “was inspired by the heraldic rose of England and The Queen’s love of flowers” and features nine roses, one for each decade – each one differing to the other.
The kilo is the largest coin in the celebratory range, Christopher Hobbs has further embellished his celebratory rose wreath and has added the inscription ‘Full of Honour and Years.’
And that’s not all!
To coincide with the existing plans in place to celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday, we are also giving up to 90 people who share their 90th birthday with The Queen the chance to mark this memorable milestone. Up to 90 commemorative Brilliant Uncirculated coins will be gifted to those, like The Queen, turning 90 on 21 April. If you know someone turning 90 on the 21st April please do get in touch by completing the following form.