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Friday, 10 June 2016

The Queen's 90th Birthday - National Service of Thanksgiving (photos and video)


Her Majesty the Queen was today praised for her amazing dedication and service to the country in front of a star-studded congregation at a special thanksgiving ceremony in London.
Prince William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge led the throng of celebrity guests, high-profile politicians and dignitaries who turned out to help kick-off the three-day celebrations to mark the monarch's 90th birthday.


In a moving speech to more than 2,000 people who gathered inside St Paul's Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, praised the way the Queen had ruled 'through war and hardship, through turmoil and change during the course of her 90 years' and asked the congregation to look back on her rule 'with deep wonder and profound gratitude'.
Others, including David Attenborough, also paid tribute to her long rule as smiled gracefully alongside her husband Prince Philip – who is celebrating his 95th birthday today – and gave fans a royal wave.
The special service, held at 11am, kicked-off a weekend of spectacular celebrations to mark Her Majesty's birthday, with several events across the capital planned including Trooping the Colour on Saturday and a parade down The Mall on Sunday.
However, despite the planned weekend of festivities, Prince Harry said today that the best birthday present his grandmother could receive would be a 'day off so she could lie about and do nothing'. 

It's my birthday! The Queen, looking resplendent in primrose yellow, was all smiles as she left the ceremony to mark her 90th birthday at St Paul's Cathedral today where the Archbishop of Canterbury praised her dedication and service to the nation in a heartwarming sermon
It's my birthday! The Queen, looking resplendent in primrose yellow, was all smiles as she left the ceremony to mark her 90th birthday at St Paul's Cathedral today where the Archbishop of Canterbury praised her dedication and service to the nation in a heartwarming sermon


Prince William and Kate smile as they leave the service alongside Prince Harry
A royal turn-out: The Queen, clutching the Order of Service tightly in one hand, steadied herself with a handrail outside St Paul's Cathedral as she left the ceremony marking her 90th birthday. Right: Prince William and Kate smile as they leave the service alongside Prince Harry
Young royals leading the way: Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in great spirits as they left the ceremony. Far right: Prince Edward's young son, James, Viscount Severn, was also among those to attend the ceremony along with his parents
Young royals leading the way: Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in great spirits as they left the ceremony. Far right: Prince Edward's young son, James, Viscount Severn, was also among those to attend the ceremony along with his parents
Royal waves and beaming grins: Prince Harry left the service with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and all three were in great spirits
Royal waves and beaming grins: Prince Harry left the service with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and all three were in great spirits
Prince Charles and Camilla
A right royal affair: Prince Charles and Camilla (together left) and the Duke of Kent (right) leave St Paul's Cathedral this afternoon 
Day out: members of the royal family including (from left) Prince Andrew, his children Princesses  Eugenie (in red) and Beatrice, Princess Edward and his son James, Princess Anne, Prince Edward's daughter Louise, Sophie Countess of Wessex and Autumn and Peter Phillips
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Day out: members of the royal family including (from left) Prince Andrew, his children Princesses Eugenie (in red) and Beatrice, Princess Edward and his son James, Princess Anne, Prince Edward's daughter Louise, Sophie Countess of Wessex and Autumn and Peter Phillips
Happy days: (From left): Prince Andrew, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, Prince Edward and his children James and Lady Louise Windsor, and his wife Sophie Countess of Wessex all stand gleefully on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral following the service
Prince Charles and Camilla
Prince Edward and Princess Anne
A (Royal) family occasion: Prince Charles and Camilla (left) and Prince Edward and Princess Anne (right) appeared deep in thought
Happy families: Prince Edward is pictured with his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their children James and Lady Louise
Happy families: Prince Edward is pictured with his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their children James and Lady Louise
A big day: Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge left St Paul's Cathedral with Prince William following the sermon by the Archbishop
A big day: Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge left St Paul's Cathedral with Prince William following the sermon by the Archbishop
Royal departure: The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured with William, looked stunning in an elegant dusty blue and white lace number
Supportive: Mike and Zara Tindall leave the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral this morning as some of the Royals head to the Guildhall
Supportive: Mike and Zara Tindall leave the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral this morning as some of the Royals head to the Guildhall