LONDON (AA) - A national service of thanksgiving launching a weekend of events marking Queen Elizabeth II's official 90th birthday, has been held on Friday at St Paul’s Cathedral in the U.K. capital London.
The monarch -- who last year became the longest-reigning sovereign in British history -- has overseen some of the country’s most transformative years, from the dismantling of an empire that once covered a quarter of the globe to rapid technological advancement.
Members of the Royal family as well as various politicians attended the ceremony to honor the Queen. During the Service at St Paul’s Cathedral, specially written prayers were read to the Queen.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough also read passages from the Bible.
Prince Phillip, who has been married to the Queen for 68 years, also turned to 95 on Friday. A 21-gun salute took place at Hyde Park to mark his birthday.
The Queen celebrates two birthdays every year. Her real birthday has been on April 21st . She also has an official birthday on a weekend in June to ensure good weather for celebrations.
Elizabeth, the world’s second-longest reigning living monarch after Thailand’s king, 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.