THE Queen poses for her 90th birthday portrait surrounded by five great-grandchildren and two grand-children, agencies report. And two-year-old Mia Tindall almost stole the show by proudly holding Her Majesty’s handbag.
She was joined by fellow great-grandkids Savannah, five, Isla, three, Prince George, two, and Princess Charlotte, 11 months, who sat perched on the Queen’s lap.
Celebrated US photographer Annie Leibovitz also captured Her Maj with her corgi and dorgi dogs and daughter Princess Anne last month.
The Queen, who is the longest reigning monarch and the first to reach 90, kicked off her birthday celebrations yesterday with a visit to a post delivery office in Windsor. She received a bouquet of flowers from 18-month-old Charlie Capper, who looked similar to Prince George, and inspected some birthday post.
Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene told her: “I have it on good authority that your own postmen and women will be especially busy with tomorrow’s mail bag.” She then opened a nearby bandstand, with an aide saying: “It’s business as usual for the Queen. She’s very grateful for the birthday wishes but she views it as just another day.”
She will today open a new walkway at Windsor Castle before later lighting a beacon, the first of 1,000 around the world, with Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla. Sixty family guests will then join her for a private party at the castle’s Waterloo Chamber.
US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will fly in for a birthday lunch at the castle tomorrow before having supper with William, Harry and Kate at Kensington Palace.
PM David Cameron yesterday paid tribute to the Queen’s remarkable longevity. He said: “Her Majesty has been steadfast, a rock of strength for our nation, for our Commonwealth and on many occasions for the whole world.”
Prince Charles hails his mother’s reign as the Age of Elizabeth in a special documentary, Elizabeth at 90 — A Family Tribute, which is on BBC1 tonight at 9pm. THESE are delightful photographs of the Queen as a mum, gran and great-gran.
The picture of Mia Tindall holding her handbag is just lovely. She looks like a tiny lady-in-waiting! The dogs photo is beautiful. Annie Leibovitz must have waited ages until three looked in the same direction.
In any family the mother and daughter relationship is always strongest and you can see the Queen’s special bond with Anne in the last photo.
Under-fire Wills says royal duty is weight
PRINCE William yesterday said juggling his job with royal duties was difficult. And he hit out at claims he is work-shy, insisting “duty can weigh you down an awful lot at an early age”.
Wills, 33, hinted he may quit his job as an Air Ambulance pilot. The prince signed a two-year contract with East Anglian Air Ambulance when he began last March.
He said he now wants to become a full-time dad. Wills said: “I’m concentrating very much on my role as a father. I take my duties to my family very seriously. “I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important.”
He works an average of 80 hours a month, Kensington Palace confirmed. But in a BBC interview to mark his gran’s 90th birthday, he said: “I’ve a contract and when that contract runs out that will probably be the time that I finish.”
The prince has done 13 royal engagements in the UK and one in Kenya this year, as well as last week’s trip to India and Bhutan. He insisted he does not “lie awake” waiting for the day he becomes King.
But he said: “When the Queen decides she’s going to hand down more responsibilities, I’ll be the first person to accept them.” Wills said: “To be honest, I’m going to get plenty of criticism over my lifetime and it’s something that I don’t completely ignore, but it’s not something I take completely to heart.”