Queen's 90th birthday celebrations: All the events to mark Elizabeth II's birthday including the lighting of the beacon, the parade, flypast, garden party and street party

Catherine Neilan
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Queen Elizabeth II Opens Refurbished East Wing of Somerset House
The Queen will be busy celebrating her own birthday (Source: Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II might be celebrating her 90th birthday but that doesn't mean she gets to put her feet up.

It's Britain's longest-reigning monarch actual birthday on 21 April, and her official birthday will be celebrated on 11 June, meaning this spring and summer will play host to a number of public events.


The calendar kicks off today with two official engagements - firstly the Queen will visit Windsor's Royal Mail delivery office to mark its 500th anniversary. Then she will officially open the new bandstand in the town's Alexandra Garden.

Read more: From establishment to privatisation: How Royal Mail has changed since 1516

Tomorrow, the Queen will spend her birthday at Windsor Castle, but will go on a walkabout with the Duke of Edinburgh to meet her subjects.

There will be a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park at noon and a 62 gun salute at Gun Wharf, Tower of London, at 1pm. Her birthday will be marked by other gun salutes around the country including at Hillsborough Castle, Cardiff Castle and Edinburgh Castle.

In the evening, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, she will light the first of more than 1,000 beacons across the UK.

After the first beacon is lit at Windsor, others including gas structures, bonfires and braziers will be lit on the highest peaks of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The last time the country was lit up in this way was in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

But if the Queen thinks she can have a lie-in the day after her birthday, she'll have to think again as she is hosting a lunch for US President Barack Obama, again at Windsor.


Four events will be held between May 12 and May 15, with a focus on the Queen's "love" of horses and her "deep involvement" with the Armed Forces.

A 90-minute performance will look back at her life "from the excitement of the birth through to World War Two, her marriage, the coronation and a reign of more than 60 years".

Read more: Is the UK a better place than when the Queen was born?

The mini-festival will be held in a purpose-built arena in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, and 25,000 members of the public will be attending. The Sunday night event will be broadcast on ITV.


The summer month holds the biggest number of events as the country marks Her Majesty's official birthday.

On 10 June will attend a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral at 11am, along with the Duke of Edinburgh and other dignitaries.

On the day itself, the annual Trooping the Colour will take place at around 10am, followed by a flypast over Buckingham Palace at around 1pm. Both will be broadcast on the BBC.

Read more: The Queen would be living on £18k if she saved like we do

Spectators will be able to catch a glimpse of the horses before the big day, however. The first rehearsal, known as The Major General's Review, usually takes place two weeks before the actual parade, while the second, known as The Colonel’s Review, will come a week beforehand.

On Sunday 12 June there will be a giant street party for 10,000 guests, including members of the royal family, charities, celebrities and officials, as well as members of the general public.

The Mall will be lined with picnic tables for the street party, during which guests will enjoy a "hamper-style lunch". We're hopeful there will be lashings of coronation chicken sandwiches on offer.