Berkshire

Queen's birthday: 'Tiny' 21-gun salute in Windsor

Zachary
Image caption Four-year-old Zachary was one of the 21 children to be selected to fire a cannon for the Queen's birthday

A "tiny" 21-gun salute has been held at Windsor Castle to honour the Queen's 91st birthday.

The monarch spent the day in private at Windsor Castle, in contrast with last year's national festivities.

Children were selected to fire the cannons, which are just 1ft (0.3m) long, just over 1in (2.54cm) wide and weigh about 12lb (5.44kg).

There was also a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, ahead of a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London at 13:00 BST.

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Media captionTwenty-one miniature canons fired a salute to mark the Queen's birthday in Windsor.

John Matthews, borough bombardier for Windsor and Maidenhead, who has organised the event for 20 years, said the gun salute had been a tradition since the 1700s.

"Six of the guns came from a French privateer, while the others were made in the borough," he added.

"The guns are very small - tiny in fact - but they have a very big bang."

Image caption The 21-gun salute has been a tradition from the 1700s

Mayor for Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, councillor Sayonara Luxton, said: "We do this every year but today is something very special.

"We have a bigger crowd than ever before - and most of all it's for the children to enjoy and for the Queen to see the little ones celebrating her special day."

Image caption John Matthews, borough bombardier for Windsor and Maidenhead, said although the cannons were small they had a "big bang"

The Queen also celebrates an "official birthday" which falls on the second Saturday in June.

It will be marked with a parade in London known as the Trooping the Colour ceremony - this year's takes place the week later, on 17 June.

Image caption The cannons are just one foot long

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