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Queen Elizabeth marks 95th birthday, days after husband's funeral

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the world's oldest monarch, turns 95 on Wednesday, but there will be no public celebrations of an occasion that comes just days after she bade a sad farewell to her husband of seven decades at his funeral.

Prince Philip, whom Elizabeth married in 1947, died on April 9 at the age of 99. The royals paid their final respects to the family's patriarch at his funeral on Saturday at Windsor Castle.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the queen sat alone during the sombre service for Philip, who she had described as her "strength and stay".

Elizabeth, who is also the world's longest-reigning monarch, will be at the castle for her birthday, which traditionally passes off with little or no ceremony.

However this year, with the royals marking two weeks of mourning, it will pass off with even less public show: there will be no gun salutes at the Tower of London nor the capital's Hyde park which usually occur on the queen's birthday.

The queen also has an official birthday, which is usually celebrated with greater pomp on the second Saturday in June.

Philip's death has left Elizabeth without her closest and most trusted confidante, who had been beside her throughout her record-breaking 69-year reign.

It also came just as she grappled with one of the gravest crises to hit the royal family in decades - allegations of racism and neglect by it from her grandson Prince Harry and Meghan, his American wife.

Newspapers have suggested that family members would be visiting the queen over the coming days to ensure she would not be left alone while mourning her late husband.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment, saying all family matters after the funeral would be private.

Elizabeth, who was born on April 21, 1926, in Bruton Street, central London, grew up not expecting to become queen. Her father, George VI, only took the crown when his elder brother Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

She ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25, and surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain's longest reigning monarch in September 2015.

Elizabeth is also queen of 15 former British colonies including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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Happy birthday your majesty, sorry for your loss, hope your reign will go one for years to come even in this most difficult time.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Elizabeth is also queen of 15 former British colonies including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

This is just hilarious to me. It’s also one reason I respect Ireland so much: the Irish are the only other English-speaking country besides the US to give the middle finger to the monarch.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

P. Smith, yes, it’s an embarrassment to many of us in Australia to have the head of another country as our constitutional head also. There was a referendum on the issue 20-plus years ago which failed, and it’s generally accepted that there is no point in raising the issue again until QE2 passes on. I agree with that, and I also think that if we were to replace the Queen as head of state with, say, a President, we’d be damned lucky to get someone who would do the job as well as Her Maj has done for the past 70 years.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

BigYen: Thanks for the reply. Why not just make the PM the head of state?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When the queen had her coronation, all the children in 1953, receive a silver teaspoon. Had mine for years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

P.Smith A rather big difference is that while all those lands you mentioned were technically invaded by the British who founded the nations, Ireland was already a pretty established nation by the Anglo-Normans who had invaded the gaelic tribes. The decedents of those lords were by then assimilated and set to lose out to the new lot of 16th century English lords coming over to do the kings bidding, hence wanting them out and of course the sectarian trouble came with that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Knicker: Thanks for the info.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Happy birthday, ma'am. Elegant, dignified, tolerant

Look who represented the US for 4 years, a guy that encouraged his supporters to storm the seat of democracy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth. Wishing Her Majesty good health.

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P. SmithToday  12:08 pm JST

BigYen: Thanks for the reply. Why not just make the PM the head of state?

Same reason the US has Congress and the Supreme Court - checks and balances. One person with unchecked control over the executive and legislative branches of government could easily abuse it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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