Published: Sun, April 23, 2017
Life&Culture | By Kristin Armstrong

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 91st birthday

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 91st birthday

Queen Elizabeth II is a celebrity, whether she likes being grouped in the same category as the reality stars from the "Jersey Shore" or not, but that's not why she gets two birthdays.

Loud bangs from tiny cannons echoed in front of Windsor Castle as children performed a 21-gun salute for the Queen's 91st birthday today.

Earlier this year on February 6, the date she became Queen in 1952, she achieved another milestone, becoming the first British sovereign to reach their Sapphire Jubilee, a reign lasting 65 years. The queen has also an official birthday in June which is publicly marked with a large parade of soldiers through central London, known as Trooping the Colour.

This afternoon, in honour of her Majesty, the King Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired 41 volleys in Hyde Park.

But they soon got used to it and when it was all over town cryer Chris Brown led everyone singing Happy Birthday to the Queen, who undoubtably heard the tribute from the castle nearby where she has spent Easter.

However, she is still seen out and about at various events - most recently feeding a banana to an elephant at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire to mark the opening of a new centre for Asian elephants.

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Prince Charles, her eldest son, is the heir to the throne, but his two sons, William and Harry, have been garnering bigger attention, and taken some of the Queen's duties.

She will "officially" celebrate her birthday on June 17, and the reason why goes all the way back to 1748.

13 - prime ministers in office since the start of her reign.

Though Queen Elizabeth II's birthday stands a much better chance at seeing sunny weather, the tradition continues.

This year's celebrations will notably be low key compared to last year when the Queen hit 90, where there were street parties and lighting of a thousand beacons all over the country. "I've been on the grid at Silverstone, I was in the ring at the Dubai World Cup the year Animal Kingdom won, I've been in the ring after a Floyd Mayweather fight in Vegas and shook hands with him".

72% - proportion of her life that Elizabeth II has been Queen. The Queen, whose horse, Maths Prize was about to run the first race, was nearby at the time.

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