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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 91st birthday

22 April 2017

The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II, who is the oldest and longest-reining monarch, turns 91 today. She automatically became queen upon her father's death, although the official coronation did not take place for more than a year.

In Hyde Park at midday, 41 volleys in honour of her birthday will be fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

At the Tower of London, there was a second 62-gun salute.

Most of the time, Queen Elizabeth celebrates her birthday in June, when she is throwing this lavish and pompous military parade in central London.

We can all relate to the bad British weather here in Ireland, and it looks like that was enough of a reason to prevent King George II celebrating his birthday during the cold November month in which he was born.

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Harry arranged to perform a short cabaret with ventriloquist Nina Conti at the Queen's party and had the Royal Family in fits of laughter as he acted as Conti's dummy.

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born at 2:40am on April 21, 1926. She became Britain's longest-reigning monarch, passing her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's record, in September 2015.

At the height of World War II, 14-year-old Elizabeth makes her first radio broadcast on BBC's Children's Hour, reassuring listeners that "in the end, all will be well".

The queen usually spends her birthday privately.

A handout portrait photograph released by Buckingham Palace on June 9, 2016 and taken by Annie Leibovitz to mark the Queen's 90th birthday shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) pictured at Windsor Castle just after Easter in 2016.

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The Queen owns two Corgis, who are called Willow and Holly.

16 - number of countries of which she is monarch - the United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth realms.

As far as her actual birthday, she likes to keep it pretty low-key.

It was a more modest affair than the national festivities for her 90th birthday a year ago. The Queen reached her Sapphire Jubilee in February 2017.

Many of her favourite presents over the years have reflected her love of animals.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 91st birthday