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Queen Celebrates 87th Birthday

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has celebrated her 87th birthday in private today.

The National Anthem will be played on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4 this morning at 7am and 8am to mark the occasion, as is usual practice.

Salutes are to be fired from HM Tower of London and at the other saluting points including Hyde Park, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Cardiff and Hillsborough Castle in County Down, Northern Ireland on Monday this year because The Queen’s birthday happens to fall on a Sunday.

The number of rounds fired in a Royal salute depends on the place and occasion.

The basic Royal salute is 21 rounds. In Hyde Park an extra 20 rounds are added because it is a Royal Park.

At the Tower of London 62 rounds are fired on Royal anniversaries (the basic 21, plus a further 20 because the Tower is a Royal Palace and Fortress, plus another 21 ‘for the City of London’) and 41 on other occasions.

The salute is fired by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. The first round is fired at noon. At the Tower of London, the salute is fired by the Honourable Artillery Company at 1.00 pm.

Her Majesty celebrates two birthdays every year. One is her actual birthday (today) and the other is the Official Birthday of the Sovereign, which is always on the second Saturday in June, a practice established by Edward VII to allow the Monarch’s public birthday celebrations to be at a time with good weather (his own birthday being in November).

The Queen usually spends her birthday in private and her Official Birthday is a day of national celebration in Britain, with The Queen’s Birthday Parade, or Trooping the Colour, being held on the day. This year Her Majesty’s official birthday is on 15 June.

Her Majesty is expected to be spending the day at Windsor Castle, where she is currently residing for what is known as ‘Easter Court’ where she stays at Windsor Castle for the duration of Easter and April.

In salute to Her Majesty on the occasion of her 87th birthday, we include this lesser-known and fantastic rendition of the national anthem.

photo credit: Michael Gwyther-Jones via photopin cc

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