Queen Elizabeth II turns 91 with quiet day, gun salutes

LONDON (AP) — Britain marked Queen Elizabeth II’s 91st birthday on Friday with gun salutes, as the monarch celebrated quietly at home.

A troop of the Royal Horse Artillery rode horse-and-gun carriages past Buckingham Palace before staging a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park at noon.

FILE – This is a Tuesday, April 11, 2017 file photo of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as she meets residents during a visit to Priory View, an independent living scheme for older residents, in Dunstable, England, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo, File via AP)

Outside the palace, a band of guardsmen in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats played “Happy Birthday” during the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

There was a second salute with 62 guns at the centuries-old Tower of London.

The queen is Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, having become queen on Feb. 6, 1952. She is also the world’s longest-reigning living monarch since the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej last year.

The queen usually spends her birthday privately. She also has an official birthday, marked in June — when the weather is better — with the “Trooping the Color” military parade.

Here’s a look at some milestones and numbers related to the queen:

  • Elizabeth has reigned for 65 years and 75 days. On September 9, 2015, she became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, passing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
  • She is the world’s longest-reigning living monarch since the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej last year.
  • She has had 13 British prime ministers serve during her reign, from Winston Churchill to Theresa May.
  • She has met 12 U.S. presidents, from Herbert Hoover (after he left office) to Barack Obama, more than a quarter of all the U.S. presidents since Independence. She is due to host President Donald Trump for a state visit later this year.
  • She has traveled more than 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) on official trips, visiting 106 countries.
  • She has visited Canada 22 times —the largest number of trips to any nation.
  • She has four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
  • She has cut back on her official duties in the last few years, but Elizabeth still conducted 332 official engagements in 2016.

 

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