QUEEN 'S 90th BIRTHDAY

In April Queen Elizabeth II will become the first reigning British monarch to reach the age of 90.

Here is our guide to how to join in the celebrations.

The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh at Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of her birthday

Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday celebrations will be one of the highlights of 2016, and you can play your part by following our guide to the festivities.

Events will be taking place in April, May and June, some of which are free and some of which require tickets, but the key is to plan ahead if you want to participate.

We have included links to websites where you can buy tickets and where you can download forms for street parties. We will be updating this page whenever new information is available.

The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh at Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of her birthday

April 21st: The Queen's birthday

The Queen's 90th birthday is onApril 21, and while this will not be the main focus of the celebrations, there will still be an opportunity to see the Queen for hardy royal-watchers.Expect a royal walkabout where members of the public can see Her Majesty close up - as long as they are prepared to turn up early to bag the best places. Look out also for TV documentaries on the Queen's life by both ITV and the BBC featuring interviews with senior members of the Royal family. No dates have yet been announced.

May 12 to 15: The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration

May represents the first of two major celebrations of the Queen's birthday.The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration will be a 90-minute long extravaganza with 900 horses and more than 1,500 riders and performers.It will be along similar lines to the Diamond Jubilee horse pageant at Windsor in 2012, though this time video projection and theatrical lighting will play a big part.
The event will be held every evening fromMay 12 to 15, with the Queen attending on the final evening.All 25,000 tickets for the arena sold out soon after they went on sale last November, but there is still a chance to take part by entering a ballot, opening in February, for 5,000 free tickets to watch the show on giant screens next to Windsor Castle and see celebrities arriving on the red carpet. For detailsclick here.
If you miss out on tickets, ITV will be showing the final night in a two-hour live broadcast hosted by Ant and Dec.

June 10: Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral

A weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's birthday and, unofficially, the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday, will start on June 10 with a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. The congregation will be made up of invited guests only, but the service will be televised. June 10 is also the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday, but he has specified that he does not want any public celebration of the date.


Members of the Royal family appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after Trooping the ColourJune 11: Trooping the Colour

Saturday, June 11is the date of this year's Trooping the Colour, the official annual celebration of the Queen's birthday. Otherwise known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, it is a chance for the Queen to inspect soldiers from the Household Division. It takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall, and is televised live by the BBC from 10am.

Members of the Royal family appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after Trooping the Colour



The Queen will travel by carriage to Trooping the Colour

The Queen and other members of the Royal family travel to and from Buckingham Palace in carriages, meaning there is ample opportunity to see her for anyone standing on The Mall. She will then appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at 1pm to watch a fly-past. This will be the only "balcony moment" of the birthday celebrations and is another good chance for members of the public to see the Queen, albeit from a distance.
Tickets for the seated stands around Horse Guards are allocated by ballot in March and cost £30. You can apply in writing before the end of February to the Brigade Major, HQ Household Division by following the instructions in this link.
A rehearsal usually takes place a week before the parade, and can be seen from The Mall or the edge of St James's Park.
The Queen will travel by carriage to Trooping the Colour


An artist's impression of The Patron's LunchJune 12: The Patron's Lunch

On Sunday,June 12, the climax of the Queen's birthday celebrations, The Mall in London will be transformed into a giant street party for The Patron's Lunch, with 10,000 guests eating a picnic lunch and being entertained by street performers and circus acts.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will take part in the event from a specially-built platform on the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.

An artist's impression of The Patron's Lunch


Members of the public will be able to watch the event on giant screens in Green Park and St James's ParkThe purpose of the event is to celebrate the Queen's patronage of 600-plus charities and organisations, and 9,000 of the 10,000 tickets are being made available to those organisations.
However, there will be some publicly available tickets for the event, costing £150 each.
There are two ways of getting a ticket:
1. Enter a public ballot where a minimum of 1,000 tickets (plus any that are not taken up by the charities) will be made available. You can make your application during the month of March at The Patron's Lunch website.
2. Charities and other organisations that receive tickets will be allowed to auction off 40 per cent of their tickets to raise money for their funds. You can search a list of the organisations of which the Queen is Patron here.

Members of the public will be able to watch the event on giant screens in Green Park and St James's Park Photo: The Patron's Lunch.If you don't have a ticket, but still want to be part of the event in London, there will be room for 15,000 people to watch the event on giant screens in St James's Park and Green Park, though they will have to bring their own picnics. Security will be tight, so arrive early.

The Patron's Lunch will be held on the Mall on June 12

The event's organiser Peter Phillips, the Queen's grandson, is keen for the event to be replicated with street parties up and down the country and across the Commonwealth.

You will need to tell your local council four to six weeks in advance, and the Department for Communities and Local Government has published a guide on how to organise a street party, complete with an application formfor you to send off to your local authority.
The Patron's Lunch will be held on the Mall on June 12
Photo: Patron's Lunch

The Telegraph Monday 29 February 2016

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