Queen Elizabeth II: 90th birthday celebration weekend begins

Queen Elizabeth II marked her official 90th birthday on Saturday by taking the salute at a special military parade in London where one-year-old Princess Charlotte proved to be the star attraction.

Prince George, who is almost three, waved at the planes as they flew by, while one-year-old Princess Charlotte, who was carried by Kate, blocked her ears.

According to reports, it was a replica of the outfit that Prince William wore at Prince Harry's christening in 1984.

Over the weekend the nation is celebrating the life of the Queen - Britain's longest reigning and oldest sovereign - in the national commemorations of her milestone anniversary.

Wave after wave of military aircraft - from a Spitfire and Hurricane, made famous during the Battle of Britain, to modern fighters like the Typhoon - roared overhead with the Red Arrows trailing red, white and blue smoke to end the display.

At least 1,000 smaller street parties are also expected to take place across Britain to mark the birthday.

There, the Royal family watched the parades as the Queen inspected her soldiers.

Image mark cuthbert  getty images
Image mark cuthbert getty images

The celebrations started the day before with a service at St Paul's Cathedral.

Before the fly past, the Queen had been at the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, which is playing host to 1400 soldiers, 200 horses, and over 400 musicians.

Thousands of tourists and royals fans filled The Mall, stretching back from the iron palace gates, cheering the Queen and her family.

Among them was Britain's Got Talent victor and Household Cavalry bandsman Richard Jones whose skill as a magician saw him triumph in the popular show.

During George II's reign, it was ordered in 1748 that the ceremony of Trooping the Colour should mark the official birthday of the sovereign, and the parade became an annual event after George III became king in 1760.

Before the festivities, a new photograph of the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh - who turns 95 today - was released to commemorate their joint birthday.

The Queen's actual birthday is April 21.

  • Jack Mann