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Queen stays close to her castle on 90th birthday

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Close aides say Elizabeth, who has been on the throne for 64 years, was far more interested in events to mark her 90th birthday than she had been about overtaking her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria last September as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving British monarch in history, turns 90 today. She greeted well-wishers on a walk through the town, west of London.

According to Leslie Field in her book The Queen’s Jewels, she inherited the late Victorian brooch in 1981 from Lady Jardine, a Scottish aristocrat. Hundreds had lined up hours beforehand, carrying cakes, cards, balloons and Union Jack flags.

The Queen wore one of her favourite brooches today, an eight-point star known as the Jardine Star. In London, there were due to be artillery gun salutes at Hyde Park and the Tower of London and parliament was to be lit up red, white and blue. Later, the queen will light the first in a chain of 1,000 beacons to blaze across Britain and around the world.

The queen will receive more birthday greetings on Friday, when she hosts U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama for lunch at Windsor Castle.

She has weathered tough years when the divorces of three of her children tarnished the monarchy.

Her popular grandchildren have helped bolster the family fortunes.

The queen and Prince Philip went on a royal walkabout Thursday to greet the crowds gathered outside Windsor Castle to celebrate their beloved monarch.

Leibovitz captured Her Majesty in the castle’s Green Drawing Room holding, in the tradition of the royal portrait, her youngest great-grandchild, 11-month-old Princess Charlotte.

The world’s media loves bachelor ex-soldier Prince Harry, who, like his brother, has thrown his weight behind numerous charities.

However, the Queen’s official birthday celebrations for the nation will be held on the first weekend of June, which will include a grand charity street party near Buckingham Palace.

But not everyone in Britain was succumbing to royal-mania.

“When you look at things she’s said in the past, going back to her 21st birthday, she vowed to serve for all the days of her life”, said Arbiter.

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