Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebration started on Friday with a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The same day marks the 95th birthday of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

The U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and more than 50 members of the Royal Family were also at the cathedral, to thank the Queen for serving the country. An estimated 2,000 guests attended the service, held by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Queen Elizabeth's Birthday
The remarkable photograph shows the four generations of the Royal Family. Credit: Ranald Mackechnie

Dean of St. Paul’s David Ison initiated the ceremony, saying that the country was thankful for her “faithful devotion, loving leadership, gentle constancy, royal dignity and kindly humanity,” according to the BBC.

Queen Elizabeth II arrived at the cathedral dressed in yellow, by the hands of Prince Phillip, among a melody of trumpets. Sir David Attenborough read about “the passing of the years,” while Prime Minister David Cameron read a passage from the Bible.

“And, as we give thanks for Her Majesty, so also do we give thanks for Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Royal Family: for mutual love and support and for service to this country and to the Commonwealth,” David Ison was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke, and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were also among the attendees.

Queen Elizabeth II has two birthdays: three days of celebration start on Friday

According to a British royal tradition started by King George II in 1748, the birthday of the Queen is always celebrated in June, due to better weather conditions. However, Queen Elizabeth’s real birthday is on April 21.

On Friday started the celebrations that will extend for the next three days. Saturday will introduce an event called The Annual Trooping the Color, in which 1,400 men will parade with 400 musicians and 200 horses.

Following the parade, the members of the Royal Family will reunite at the balcony of Buckingham Palace. That event comes to an end with a flypast carried out by the British Royal Air Force, said CNN.

The Patron’s Lunch: a street party for 10,000 people to celebrate Queen’s service

On Sunday 12, the crown will organize a street party called The Patron’s Lunch. More than 10,000 people will attend the event to celebrate 63 years of the Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It will take place at The Mall in St. James’s Park.

The Queen will appear by the hands of Prince Phillip and members of the Royal Family. The lunch will also commemorate “the Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organizations in the United Kingdom,” as she turns 90 years old.

Guests will be received in large picnic tables, to delight a hamper-style lunch. According to an official statement, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend as “Joint-Presidents” of the Patron’s Lunch.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz has portrayed Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip for their birthdays, using elegantly combined clothes. The Royal Couple has been married for 68 years. The Duke of Edinburgh asked for Elizabeth’s hand in 1946, after returning from the World War II.

Source: BBC