The longest-reigning monarch in British history turns 90 tomorrow, but Queen Elizabeth II is not planning a major, fireworks-filled celebration to mark the happy occasion.
Just a gentle stroll outside the grounds of Windsor Castle, the lighting of a beacon, and a night at home with family are all that are on the royal plate.
No, she’ll save the pomp and ceremony for her next birthday.
The monarch is such an eminent figure in British life that she gets two birthdays each year, one on the actual date of her birth, April 21, and one official birthday in June, when there is at least a reasonable hope of dry, sunny parade weather.
Her customary reticence hasn’t kept the nation’s media from going slightly bonkers at the approaching milestone.
ITV has already aired a celebratory Our Queen at 90 documentary to pump up its Easter ratings, and Tatler magazine not only put her on its cover, foregoing its usual fare of youthful socialites, but published a special supplement in her honour.
The birthday events tomorrow can be considered a dress rehearsal for the official celebrations planned in early June.
It also opens the door to a rolling birthday season that will last a full six weeks, climaxing with hundreds of celebrations large and small.
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