The Queen's 90th Birthday: How to Celebrate

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the "Land of the Lions" enclosure at London Zoo in London on March 17, 2016. The Queen turns 90 on Thursday, with celebrations taking place across the U.K. Toby Melville/Reuters

Street parties, garden parties, picnics, concerts and beacon lighting—people across the U.K. will celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday in a variety of ways.

Her Majesty's actual birthday is on Thursday April 21, and her official birthday is in June. So Britons will have ample opportunity to celebrate the Queen's 90th over the summer months.

To mark her actual birthday on April 21, she will unveil a plaque at the foot of Windsor's four-mile Walkway at Castle Hill, before greeting members of the public.

In the afternoon, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, she will light the first beacon in a chain of a thousand, which will be lit in celebration across Britain and the world. President Obama will also have lunch with the Queen on April 22.

From May 12-15, the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations will take place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. Each evening, a member of the royal family will be present, with the Queen only attending the star-studded concert on the final evening. Performing for Her Majesty will be from pop icon Kylie Minogue and Jess Glynne, opera singers Katherine Jenkins and Andrea Bocelli as well as the soul singer Beverley Knight.

On the other three nights, performers from all over the world, including nations such as Oman, Chile, Canada, Fiji and Azerbaijan will take to the stage. The military will also be represented: the Queen's Mounted Troops and more than 100 pipers will march. More information and a full programme of events will be available closer to the time by subscribing to email updates here.

Actors including Damian Lewis, known for his role in the Homeland TV series and BAFTA award- winning comedian Jennifer Saunders will also take to the stage. Dame Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Her Majesty in the 2006 film The Queen, will also be present. Tickets for the public are sold out but members of the public can watch the concert hosted by Ant and Dec live on ITV from 8.45pm.

In June, the Queen and Prince Philip will attend a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. On Friday June 10, coinciding with Prince Philip's birthday who will turn 95 that day, 1,100 red-jacketed soldiers from the Household Division will march as part of the traditional Trooping the Colour parade, next to St. James's Park in London. The royal family will then watch an RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The public will be able to watch the action on TV.

The Queen will also hold a street party where 10,000 guests will be treated to a hamper-style lunch in The Mall in London on June 12. Celebrating her patronage of over 600 charities and organisations, tickets for the not-for-profit event were priced at £150 each as part of a public ballot. Applications for tickets closed at the end of March, and successful applicants will be notified by email from mid April.

For those unable to obtain tickets to any of the popular celebrations, there are other ways to mark the occasion.

Blenheim Palace will host a day of festivities to coincide with the Patron's Lunch on June 12. Guests will be able to enjoy a picnic in the large garden, while watching a live stream of all the action from The Mall on a big screen. Entertainment will be provided by a live brass band. Toast the monarch with a glass (or two!) of champagne. Tickets are still available here.

A big birthday tea party will take place in the Isle of Wight at Shanklin Chine, the famous leafy gorge and the region's oldest tourist attraction. The celebration, in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice will go on into the evening where hundreds of lights will brighten up the narrow paths and streams.

A number of local councils are also getting involved in the Queen's 90th celebrations. On June 12, street parties will take place across the country. Residents in Harrow in London have already been told to apply for road closures by May 13 if they want to hold a community celebration. Farningham Parish Council is lighting a beacon on Thursday and the Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith will do the same. It is estimated that over 1,000 beacons will be lit across the U.K.

The Queen's 90th Birthday: How to Celebrate | Culture