Queen Elizabeth II – A Rock at 90

In 2015 Queen Elizabeth II gained the distinction of being Britain’s longest –ever reigning monarch.

Today on Thursday, 21st April, 2016, she has achieved another milestone of being the first sovereign to celebrate her 90th birthday.

She plans to mark the day with a walkabout near her main Royal residence in Windsor, west of London, before lighting a beacon relay in the evening. Later in the summer celebrations will be held to mark her “official birthday” culminating with a national service of Thanksgiving at St.Paul’s Cathedral and a giant gathering outside Buckingham Palace for about 10,000 guests. It was announced on Tuesday that the head of the UK royal family will present the trophy to the winner of the 2016 Epsom Derby — Britain’s richest horse race — when the event takes place in early June.

“We are very proud of the royal heritage associated with this fixture,” said Simon Durrant, general manager at Epsom Downs Racecourse in a statement to mark the announcement.141013161145-queen-elizabeth-horse-super-169

“And this year we are honored that Her Majesty The Queen has agreed to present the Derby trophy in the year of her 90th birthday.”

Although a horse enthusiast since her youth and a regular spectator at the Epsom event, Queen Elizabeth has never presented the prestigious Derby trophy during her 63-year reign.

The Queen owns a number of horses and became the first monarch to record a victory at the Ascot Gold Cup when her horse, Estimate, took the coveted prize in 2013.

Yesterday, on the 20th of April, the monarch’s celebrations began with an official photograph of four generations  of royals, featuring three future kings posing at Buckingham Palace. The image of the Queen, Princes Charles, William and George would be on special stamps issued to commemorate the queen’s life.

Facts about the Queen – The Queen is estimated to be worth $500 million and reportedly owns a sixth of the planet’s land surface. Her love of horses is well-known and included in the 2014 list of gifts was a mounted sculpture of a white horse from France’s President Francois Hollande; a bronze sculpture of a horse’s head from the Emir of Qatar; and another bronze statuette of the famous Irish thoroughbred, Arkle from the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, along with a book of the same name.

During her 64-year-long reign, the unusual gifts that the Queen has received are a jaguar from Brazil, two giant turtles from the Seychelles, an elephant from Cameroon, and several horses — most notably a beloved black mare called “Burmese” from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Indeed, the Queen rode “Burmese” at the traditional Trooping the Color parade for 18 consecutive years, and in 2005 unveiled a bronze statue of herself atop the horse outside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Canada.

What gift shall it be this time for one who has everything in the world, is anybody’s guess.

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Her Highness – as a person and her endearing qualities

Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth shows no signs of retiring let alone abdicating.

week found 70 percent wanted her to stay queen compared to 21 percent who thought she should abdicate or retire.

An Ipsos MORI poll last week A poll last found 70 percent wanted her to stay queen compared to 21 percent who thought she should abdicate or retire.

Queen Elizabeth greeted thousands of well-wishers from across Britain and beyond as she celebrated her 90th birthday on Thursday, demonstrating the world’s oldest monarch’s intent to keep doing the job she has performed for more than six decades.

06queen3Usually the queen’s birthday passes with little ceremony but to mark Thursday’s milestone a beaming Elizabeth, attired in a light green outfit, mingled with crowds during a lengthy walkabout near her Windsor Castle home, west of London.

In a rare move in recent years, she then drove through Windsor in an open-topped car with Prince Philip, her husband of 68-years by her side.

There are many nice things said about her.

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday for helping him cope with the loss of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

“She’s been a very strong female influence,” Prince William said on Sky News. “And having lost my mother at a young age, it’s been particularly important to me that I’ve had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who’s been there and who has understood some of the more, um, complex issues when you lose a loved one.”

Diana died in 1997 in a Paris automobile crash.

William also recalled an incident when his grandmother chastised him when he got into trouble with his cousins Peter and Zara Phillips while driving an all-terrain bike in Scotland.

He said: “We were chasing Zara around who was on a go-cart, and Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost. And the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her, and I remember my grandmother being the first person out at Balmoral running across the lawn in her kilt.

“As the sands of culture shift and the tides of politics7 ebb and flow, Her Majesty has been steadfast, a rock of strength for our nation, for our Commonwealth, and on so many occasions, for the whole world,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a “humble address” in parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn, the ardent republican leader of the opposition Labour Party, paid tribute to her “outstanding commitment to public life”.

“Whatever differing views people across this country have about the institution, the vast majority share an opinion that Her Majesty has served this country … with a clear sense of public service and public duty,” he said.

“All of us are here to respect the queen and to show her our affection and how much we appreciate all her years of service and to wish her a happy birthday,” said Donna Werner who had travelled to Windsor from Connecticut in the United States.

Werner, like many others in the crowd festooned with red, white and blue, had been camped out since before dawn along with three English friends she met during the 2011 wedding of Elizabeth’s grandson William and his wife Kate.

Her assets

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, she’s also among the top 25 richest people in the world. Just accounting for the tangible assets of the U.K. monarchy, lthe Queen sits on about £20 billion, or $28.8 billion, according to strategy consultancy Brand Finance.

That is enough to put her 25th among the world’s richest on the Bloomberg Billionaire list, and ahead of many high profilers like investment guru George Soros, Microsoft MSFTCEO Steve Ballmer and Michael Dell.

However, the billions in assets, including swathes of U.K. property owned by the Crown Estate, the Crown Jewels and the Royal Art Collection, aren’t the Queen’s private property and not for her to sell or manage. Instead, they are held in trusts for future generations and help pay the royal family’s expenses, such as staffing, travel and upkeep for the palaces.

This means the Queen, personally, is no billionaire. The majority of the monarch’s affluence comes from the Queen Mother’s legacy, property ownership a whopping $75 million stamp collection, investment and property holdings and a $10 million Royal Stud.

Queen Elizabeth II has completed 90 years of a useful life. She enjoys good health and a sound mind that still functions like a monarch that she is. Her presence, as vouchsafed by people from various walks of life and from across countries under the Crown, is both a popular influence as well as a beneficial one. May the Lord always keep her that way!

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