The Queen celebrates her 86th birthday on Saturday 21 April 2012.
Born in 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London, Elizabeth was the first born child of The Duke and Duchess of York – later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The Princess was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary after her mother Queen Elizabeth, her paternal grandmother Queen Mary, and her paternal great-grandmother Queen Alexandra.
Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne on 6 February 1952. Her coronation took place the following year on 2 June 1953 at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey, conducted by Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Although The Queen was born in April, her official birthday is celebrated on a Saturday during the summer, normally in June.
The Queen’s official birthday is marked by a Trooping the Colour ceremony, and in this prestigious Diamond Jubilee year The Queen’s Birthday Parade will take place on 16 June 2012.
Celebrating the Monarch’s birthday in June is a long-held British tradition and allows the British public the opportunity to observe the occasion during the warmer summer months.
Last year The Queen celebrated her 85th birthday by handing out Maundy money to pensioners at Westminster Abbey. It was the first time that the Royal Maundy Service had coincided with the Queen’s birthday. The Queen handed out gifts to 85 retired men and women invited in recognition of their service to their community and the Church. The number of recipients chosen to receive Maundy money represents The Queen’s age that year.
We will be following Her Majesty’s birthday celebrations – both actual and official – during The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, so look out for related news and images over the coming weeks.
And, in honour of Her Majesty’s 86th birthday weekend we are offering a special 10% discount off all products in the 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee online store. Just enter the code 10APR at checkout.
Image: Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attending the Maundy Service at Westminster Abbey on the 21 April 2011, The Queen’s 85th birthday. Pool Picture: Arthur Edwards. The Sun London