Official events to mark Her Majesty’s milestone birthday began in earnest with visits to the Royal Mail and Alexandra Gardens in Windsor.
The Queen has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, becoming a much loved and respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits. Known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change.
Her Majesty continues to carry out a full programme of engagements, from visits to charities and schools, to hosting visiting Heads of State, to leading the nation in Remembrance and celebratory events – all supported by other members of the Royal Family.
The Queen sees public and voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work. The Queen has links – as Royal Patron or President – with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations. These vary from well-established international charities to smaller bodies working in a specialist area or on a local basis only.
The queen ascended the throne at the age of 21 following the death of her father King George. Shortly after the announcement of the Kings passing and on realising of her new role as Queen, the young Princess Elisabeth said at a press conference “I give you my pledge that the rest of my life whether long or short will be given to serve you’
And this she has done with full dignity, commitment and grace amidst family celebrations, tragedies, scandals and milestone for the past 75 years and she shows no sign of slowing down.
Her patronages and charities cover a wide range of issues, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife and the environment. Having Her Majesty as Royal patron or president provides vital publicity for the work of these organisations, and allows their enormous achievements and contributions to society to be recognised.
The day began with the release of a commemorative photograph from an institution which also celebrates a big birthday this year: the Royal Mail, which turns 500 this year.
The Queen was born at 17 Bruton St on 21 April 1926 and christened on 29 May 1926 at Buckingham Palace l.p.
As Sovereign The Queen has important and distinct constitutional relationships with the Established Churches of England and Scotland, dating back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As Head of the Nation and Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty also recognises and celebrates other faiths in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth
The Sovereign holds the title ‘Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England’. These titles date back to the reign of King Henry VIII, who was initially granted the title ‘Defender of the Faith’ in 1521 by Pope Leo X. When Henry VIII renounced the spiritual authority of the Papacy in 1534 he was proclaimed ‘supreme head on earth’ of the Church of England. This was repealed by Queen Mary I but reinstated during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who was proclaimed ‘Supreme Governor’ of the Church of England.
The Queen’s relationship with the Church of England was symbolised at the Coronation in 1953 when Her Majesty was anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and took an oath to “maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England”.