Queen Elizabeth II Celebrates 90th Birthday
Queen Elizabeth II has celebrated her 90th birthday. The Queen was honored all across Great Britain and around the world, especially in the countries of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to reach that age. While the Queen's birthday is on 21 April, the official ceremony always takes place in June at Trooping the Colour.
The popular monarch is the longest-reigning queen in British history. She was born on 21 April 1926 and became queen after her father George VI had died in February 1952. Her official coronation was on 2 June 1953.
Queen Elizabeth II spent the day at Windsor castle, where the royal family often resides. Thousands of people roamed the streets of the small town to greet the Queen. American photographer Anie Leibovitz took a birthday portrait of the Queen with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. During the day, she carried out most of her duties, including preparations for a lunch meeting with Amercian President Barack Obama on Friday.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has visited 117 countries and given countless speeches. She has been monarch to 12 Prime Ministers. However, the Queen has also suffered bitter times, especially in the 1990s when her eldest son Charles divorced Princess Diana, who later died in a car accident.
While in the 1990s many citizens in the U.K. were sceptical about the British monarchy, approval rates have risen in the last decade, not only because Elizabeth II is a much-admired queen but also because of the popularity of Prince William and his wife Kate.
In London, Prime Minister David Cameron praised the Queen for being a decade-long symbol of continuity for the United Kingdom. In the past years, there have been many rumours and speculations on whether the Queen Elizabeth II would resign soon, but the monarch shows no signs of doing so. She is in good health and enjoys regular horse rides and long walks.
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- approval rate = here: the number of people who think that the monarchy is something good
- carry out = do a job
- citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
- Commonwealth = organization of countries that have once been a part of the British empire; Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state in 16 Commonwealth countries
- continuity = the fact that something has gone on for a long time without change
- coronation = ceremony in which a person is made king or queen
- countless = so many that you cannot count them
- decade = ten years
- divorce = when a marriage ends and husband and wife go separate ways
- duty = something that you do because it is part of your job
- enjoy = like
- especially = above all
- greet = say hello
- honour = to show great respect for someone
- however = but
- monarch = king or queen
- much-admired = popular, much-liked and respected
- official ceremony = formal act or event
- popularity = the fact that many people like and support someone
- praise = speak highly about a person
- preparation = getting ready for something
- reign = time during which a person is king or queen
- reside = live
- resign = step down ; here: not be monarch anymore
- roam = wander around, wait for someone
- rumour = news that may or may not be true, buts spreads very quickly
- sceptical = not sure about something
- speculation = rumour; guessing something without knowing if it is true or not
- suffer = to be in a bad situation and show that you don't feel good