The Queen celebrated her 83rd birthday today, spending the day quietly at Windsor Castle with her husband Prince Philip. Union Jack flags will be flying above government buildings until sunset today in her Majesty's honour, whilst a 41-Gun salute was fired in the centre of London by the Kings Troop Royal Artillery. Despite being in her eighties, the Queen is still one of the hardest working members of the Royal family and shows no signs of slowing down. She also has no plans to step down from the throne. As the great grandchild of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth is the last female sovereign. The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for over 61 years and have four children and eight grandchildren. Apart from being a mum and grandmother, the Queen is also Head of State, Head of the Church of England, the Commonwealth and the Armed Forces.
The Queen traditionally celebrates two birthdays every year. Her actual birthday is in April, whilst she celebrates a second official birthday in June with the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony. The tradition of two birthdays goes back to the time when if monarchs were born in Winter, the weather was deemed unsuitable for outdoor events so a second “birthday” had to be created for them. Unfortunately when this tradition came into being, they didn’t count on how unpredictable the British weather can be!