LONDON (AA) – Thousands gathered in central London on Sunday for the Patron's Lunch, the final public event of the continuing weekend celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s official 90th birthday.
The Queen, Prince Phillip and other members of the royal family arrived in an open-topped vehicle to the street party for 10,000 people, waving to crowds braving rainy weather along The Mall.
Later, the royal family spent 30 minutes greeting members of the public. The Queen, in a bold pink ensemble, thanked the crowd for its support.
“I hope these happy celebrations will remind us of the many benefits that can flow when people come together for a common purpose as families, friends or neighbors,” she stated.
The lunch, which was organized by the Queen's eldest grandson Peter Phillips, also celebrated the monarch’s patronage of over 600 organizations in the U.K. and around the Commonwealth. The picnic ended with a carnival parade.
The three-day celebrations started with a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday which was followed by the annual Trooping the Colour parade on Saturday. The Queen celebrates two birthdays every year. Her real birthdate is April 21 but the monarch also has an ‘official’ birthday on a weekend in June to ensure good weather for celebrations.
Elizabeth II, the world’s second-longest reigning living monarch after Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was crowned on Feb. 6, 1952, when Britain was recovering from World War II and still retained many of its colonies. She has seen 12 prime ministers and seven popes during her reign.