Archive for Saturday, April 22, 2006

Queen Elizabeth II marks 80th birthday

April 22, 2006

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— Her gifts included a 21-gun salute, a Union Jack baseball cap, a tea set and a birthday tribute Friday from Prince Charles to his "darling mama," 80-year-old Queen Elizabeth II.

The prince, the heir to his mother's throne, hosted a dinner Friday night for the queen at Kew Palace in suburban London. The guest list was small and exclusive - two dozen very close family members.

Before the meal, the birthday girl stood in front of the steps of Kew Palace, flanked by Charles and Prince Philip, her husband of 58 years, with the others behind, watching a fireworks display overhead, which was accompanied by music from across the queen's past eight decades. Among the tunes: "Jailhouse Rock" from Elvis, Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" and even the appropriately named rock group Queen performing "Don't Stop Me Now."

Earlier Friday, the queen met well-wishers outside her Windsor Castle home, above, where an enormous Royal Standard flag flew to mark the day.

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