Queen Celebrates her 90th Birthday Today


NEWS: Queen Elizabeth II photographed with youngest royals to mark 90th birthday.

To most she is the Queen, but to her great-grandson and future king, Prince George, she is apparently “Gan Gan”. To mark her 90th birthday, it is in the latter role that the celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz has captured Britain’s first nonagenarian monarch, surrounded by her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren.

In a highly stylised portrait, released by Buckingham Palace, it is the woman who is celebrated, rather than the sovereign. With Princess Charlotte, the 11-month-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on her lap, the Queen is flanked by Prince George, and Zara Phillip’s daughter Mia, both two, Peter Phillips’s daughters Savannah, five, and Isla, three, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children, James, Viscount Severn, eight, and Lady Louise Windsor, 12.

The last time the Queen was photographed by Leibovitz, “Crowngate” exploded, when a trailer for a BBC documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot was edited in such a way as to erroneously suggest the Queen had stormed off in a huff.

Two other official pictures are released today, one showing the Queen on the stone terrace of Windsor Castle with her four dogs, corgis Willow and Holly, and dorgis Vulcan and Candy, and another of her sitting with her only daughter, the Princess Royal.

On the eve of her birthday, the Queen was in Windsor to mark a significant milestone in the history of another British institution.

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