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Summary

  1. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 90th birthday
  2. She met well-wishers in Windsor and lit a symbolic beacon
  3. Gun salutes have been taking place around the UK
  4. David Cameron led tributes in the Commons to Britain's longest serving monarch

Live Reporting

By Alex Therrien and Paul Gribben

All times stated are UK

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The Queen at 90

That draws our live page to a close on the day the Queen turned 90.

Here is a recap of what happened today:

  • The Queen met crowds of people in Windsor and unveiled a plaque for a digital walking trail
  • She then took part in a walkabout of the town and greeted well-wishers with her husband Prince Philip, also travelling in an open-top car
  • Prime Minister David Cameron led the tributes to the Queen, describing her as "a rock of strength for our nation"
  • Prince Charles paid tribute to his mother in a special broadcast and later when she lit a beacon
  • The Queen lit a beacon at Windsor Castle, the first in a series of more than 900 being lit across the UK and overseas to mark the day
The Queen
AFP/Getty Images

Beacons taken to the UK's highest peaks

Buckingham Palace tweets...

'Hip, hip, hip hooray' for the Queen

Clarence House tweets...

Queen lights principal beacon

Buckingham Palace tweets...

Queen 'looked like she enjoyed every minute of it'

BBC News Channel

Dicky Arbiter, the former press secretary to the Queen, said he thought more people had turned out for the Queen's birthday than when she was 80. 

He said he thought the Queen "looked like she was enjoying every single minute" of the day.  

Asked about the private dinner the Queen is to have at Windsor Castle, Dicky said "the whole family will be there".  

Queen returns to Windsor Castle

The Queen is returning to Windsor Castle after lighting the first in a series of more than 900 beacons that are being lit across the UK and overseas. 

But before leaving she was treated to a performance of God Save the Queen and got the chance to see the beacon fully lit.  

Queen looks at the beacon at Windsor
BBC
Queen gets into her car
BBC

Beacons lit across the UK

Beacons are also being lit across the UK.

Beacon lit
BBC
A beacon is lit at Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire
Beacon at Carlisle
BBC
This one was lit in Carlisle

Beacon catches light

Beacon at Windsor
BBC

The beacon lit by the Queen in Windsor burns bright, as more than 900 others are lit across the UK and overseas to mark the monarch's birthday. 

The Queen lights the first beacon

Queen lights beacon
BBC

Following that birthday message from Prince Charles, the Queen has just lit the first beacon.

More than 900 beacons will be now lit across the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories. 

Prince Charles: Three cheers for the Queen

Prince Charles
BBC

The prince then called on the crowds to give three cheers for the Queen. 

"If they're loud enough it might just work to light the other beacons by spontaneous combustion," he joked.  

Prince Charles pays tribute to Queen

Prince Charles has been paying tribute to his mother the Queen on her 90th birthday.

He said: "I find it very hard to believe that you’ve reached your 90th year and I suddenly realised the other day that I have known you since you were 22 years old. But this ladies and gentleman is a very special occasion and the beacon that her majesty is about to light will also represent as it lights other beacons across the nation the love and affection with which you are held throughout this country and the Commonwealth. 

"So can we wish your majesty a special and the most happiest of birthdays on this occasion."

Duke and Duchess of Cornwall arrive

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have arrived outside Windsor Castle, moments before the Queen lights the first of more than 900 beacons across the UK. 

Prince Charles is to give a speech before the beacon is lit. 

The Queen is expected to appear shortly. 

Duke and Duchess of Cornwall at Windsor Castle
BBC

Queen 'really enjoying the day'

Queen in an open-top car
AP

The BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the impression he had was that the Queen was "really enjoying the day". 

He said he thought she had reached the stage where she was more relaxed in her role and could appreciate the "praise and affection" of wellwishers.

Our correspondent added: 

The one thing the Queen is not is an actress. If she's not enjoying something it becomes apparent."

BT Tower will be 'lit up'

London Fire Brigade tweets...

Queen to shortly light principal beacon

Buckingham Palace tweets...

Crowds gather for beacon lighting

Crowds at Windsor
BBC

Crowds are once again growing in Windsor ahead of the Queen lighting a beacon as part of her birthday celebrations. 

More than 900 beacons will be lit afterwards in locations across the UK and overseas. 

The 'Queen's view' of birthday celebrations

Buckingham Palace tweets...

Birthday wishes from space

British astronaut tweets...

Prince Charles: Beacons a 'wonderful gesture'

The Queen is due to light a beacon in a little over one hour, after which more than 900 will be lit across the UK and overseas.   

Local authorities around the UK will host lighting events throughout the country to create a network of flames in celebration. 

Members of the Army Cadet Force will be taking beacons to the top of the four highest peaks in the United Kingdom - Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland. 

In a written message to beacon lighters, Prince Charles said: 

It is a wonderful gesture which I know has deeply touched Her Majesty. Beacons are to be lit on mountaintops, on beaches, in farmyards and on church towers, uniting us all in our heartfelt appreciation of the Queen's lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and other Realms, and to the Commonwealth."

'Lovely weather' for beacon in Carlisle

Happy Birthday 'on behalf of people of Israel'

Israel's prime minister tweets...

A look back at the Queen's 90 years in 90 seconds

The Queen
BBC

BBC Newsround takes a 90-second look back at some of the major events that have happened during the Queen's 90 years.

To see some of those highlights, click here

First beacon to be lit by the Queen in Windsor

The man in charge of the "principal beacon" has said "the eyes of the world will be on Windsor" this evening. 

Nick Day of the Crown Estate said that the beacon which will be lit by the Queen at 19:00 BST should glow with her initials and the number 90. 

Nick Day from the Crown Estate is in charge of the 'principal beacon' on the Queen's 90th

After that beacon is light, others will follow across the country and overseas. 

What makes Windsor Castle so significant?

The Queen at Windsor Castle
BBC

With Windsor Castle being the location of most of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations, BBC correspondent Sarah Campbell reports on why it is so special to the Queen.  

To watch that video, click here

Who are the people who gathered to see the Queen?

Ladies in pink at Windsor
BBC

Thousands of people lined the streets as the Queen left Windsor Castle to meet them with the Duke of Edinburgh. 

BBC correspondent Daniela Relph has been talking to some of them.

To see the report, click here

Beacons being prepared to be lit

Preparation work for the lighting of beacons
BBC

The Queen will later light a beacon in Windsor - to be followed by people following her example with more than 900 others across the UK and overseas. 

Among those locations will be Corfe Castle in Dorset, where five beacons will be lit. 

Ian, who is carrying out the final preparations, said they would light despite the windy conditions. 

"We have two years of practice with a few Christmases, we know it'll work."  

Watch: How the Queen spent her birthday

How the Queen spent her 90th birthday

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Portrait of Queen made from more than 4,000 wine corks

Illustration of Queen with 4,000 wine corks
Conrad Engelhardt

Conrad Engelhardt, an artist from Shoreditch in London, made this portrait of the Queen in celebration of her 90th birthday. 

It is made up of more than 4,000 wine corks collected from restaurants across London. 

Conrad said all of the colours came from wine stains on the corks and the corks themselves and were not coloured in any way.

Highlights of the Queen's birthday walkabout

Here are some highlights from the BBC's radio coverage of the Queen's historic birthday walkabout in Windsor. 

Highlights of the Queen's walkabout through Windsor to celebrate her 90th birthday

Gogglebox stars in Windsor for Queen's birthday

BBC News reporter tweets...

World media mark 'untiring' Queen's big day

BBC Monitoring

Newspapers around the world covering the Queen's birthday
BBC

The Queen's 90th birthday has attracted considerable international media coverage, although it does not often make the newspaper front pages outside Commonwealth countries. 

To read what the newspapers have been saying about the UK's longest-reigning monarch, click here

Queen arrives at digital walkway plaque

Queen arrives at the site of the plaque for the digital walkway
BBC

Earlier, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen arrives to unveil a plaque marking The Queen’s Walkway - a 6.3km trail that links 63 significant points in the Berkshire town of Windsor.

The trail was designed to commemorate the moment, on 9 September last year, that the monarch broke the record held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, by being on the throne for 63 years and seven months.

'Something out of the ordinary'

Lauren Turner

BBC News reporter

Queen waving at crowds in Windsor
PA

This was, in many ways, an ordinary working day for the Queen. 

Unveiling a plaque, meeting flag-waving members of the public on a walkabout, being presented with a bouquet of flowers - these are things she has done thousands of times. 

But the crowds weren't going to let her forget that this day, her 90th birthday, was something out of the ordinary.

Some had been waiting for hours - some for days - to catch a glimpse of the Queen on the day she became the nation's first-ever nonagenarian monarch.

The crowds were 10 deep in places, with locals from Windsor desperate to see their neighbour standing alongside those from Canada, the US and Japan. 

They came wearing Union Jack ties and wigs, and tights embellished with crowns.

As the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh walked the short distance from Windsor Castle, a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday rang out - and it wouldn't be the last.

"Oh, I can see her!" someone shouted out, spotting a glimpse of her lime green hat.

There were three cheers for the Queen and excited applause as she passed the crowds on her way to the Guildhall.

One woman who has lived nearly as long as the Queen summed up the atmosphere. 

Gwen Tarr, 88, who says she is "Windsor born and bred", said: "It was so lovely. 

"I just wanted to celebrate the day with her and wish her a happy birthday - and many more birthdays to come."

Berkshire's other 90-year-olds

To mark the royal walkabout in Windsor, Radio Berkshire interviewed a number of the county's nonagenarians. 

Patricia Anderson shares the same birthday as the Queen, and she said she has "great admiration" for her. 

We speak to Berkshire's other 90-year-olds to hear some of their stories and memories

Gun salute at Tower of London

62-gun salute at the Tower of London
Getty Images

A 62-gun salute has been fired at the Tower of London as part of the birthday celebrations. 

Joan Collins: 'Queen has been true to herself'

Joan Collins
BBC

Actress Joan Collins told the BBC people were able to "see through celebrities", which was why "some of them only have their 15 seconds (of fame)". 

But she said of the Queen:

The reason people love her is because she has been true to herself and she has been true to what she was not born to become but what she had to become when her father died, and that was to totally devote herself to Great Britain, to this country."

'One of my proudest moments'

Nadiya Hussain
BBC

Nadiya Hussain earlier spoke to the BBC about making a cake for the monarch.

The 2015 Great British Bake Off winner, who met the Queen when she cut her creation, said the experience was one of her "proudest moments". 

"It was over really quickly, so I'm reliving it again now in my head. That actually happened, I met the Queen!"

She said the process of making the orange drizzle cake had been "quite relaxing". 

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