Celebrations to mark the Queen's official 90th birthday began today (10 June) with a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral.
During the service The Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, was praised for her "faithful devotion" to the country and the Dean of St Paul's, the Very Revd David Ison, mentioned her "gentle constancy, royal dignity and kindly humanity".
A member of the Mothers’ Union from Wales, Mrs Hilda Price, who shares her birthday with the Queen, read a special prayer at the service, which was broadcast live on BBC TV..
The Queen has been Patron of Mothers’ Union since 1952 and has spoken openly about the importance of her Christian faith, but also by the way she has lived out that faith in service to Britain and the Commonwealth
Speaking before the ceremony, MU Chief Executive, Beverley Jullien said, “The Queen’s patronage gives a sense of solidarity in faith, commitment to family, and consistent values of service to others which inspire Mothers’ Union members across the generations. We’re delighted to be able to recognise dedicated volunteers from within our organisation at the Patron’s Lunch, who emulate these values and have helped so many people through their volunteering.”
More than 400 Mothers’ Union members who were born in the same year as the Queen are pictured in a birthday card from the MU to her majesty. These include members in Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, USA, Uganda and South Africa as well as the UK.
Celebrations continue throughout the weekend, with the annual Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade on Saturday 11 June - the Queen’s official birthday - when there will also be a flypast by the Royal Air Force.
On Sunday, the Queen will host a street party for 10,000 people at the Patron's Lunch - a celebration of her patronage of more than 600 organisations in the UK and around the Commonwealth. The Mall, in St James's Park, will be lined with picnic tables for the street party.
Nearly a million copies of a book celebrating The Queen and her Christian faith, called The Queen and the King she Serves, by Catherine Butcher and Mark Greene have been printed. For details see: https://www.cpo.org.uk/range.aspx?range=4971&prod=V4971BT