LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 91st birthday on Friday, an occasion that was marked by ceremonial gun salutes and Buckingham Palace releasing a photograph of her as a baby.
An image posted on Twitter by the Palace – the official London residence of the monarch – showed the Queen as a baby being held in the arms of her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, under the gaze of her father, King George VI, at her christening, one month after she was born.
As per tradition, The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery staged a 41-gun salute in London’s Hyde Park in honor of the Queen, who celebrated her birthday privately at Windsor Castle, outside of the capital.
The Honorable Artillery Company, meanwhile, performed a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on the banks of the River Thames.
The Queen is the world’s longest reigning living monarch and celebrated 65 years on the throne on Feb. 6, thus becoming the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee.
Born April 21, 1926, the Queen usually celebrates her birthday twice: on the day of her actual birthday, and in June during an official military parade known as the Trooping of the Color.
This year’s parade is to take place June 10, two days after the snap election announced this week by the UK government.
The general election will be the 17th such election to take place under Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.