The Queen at 90: Part 3
PUBLISHED: 12:02 07 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:02 07 June 2016
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010
The concluding part of our series to mark the special occasion of The Queen's 90th birthday
The Queen has been a regular visitor to Norfolk throughout her life, and her trips to the county have continued to bring excitement and joy - never more so than at the Garden Party she hosted at Sandringham House in 2012 to mark her Diamond Jubilee. The glorious June day saw 3,500 invited guests - including charity volunteers and Royal Warrant holders - enjoy afternoon tea created by students from the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn, City College, Norwich, and Great Yarmouth College. The Queen met some of the guests, who came from across Norfolk and Suffolk, and the Band of the Royal Marines Beat the Retreat at the end of the day.
For the people of Norfolk there have been many opportunities to see The Queen during her official visits to the county - including to open The Forum in Norwich in 2002 during her Golden Jubilee tour of the UK. Crowds filled the city centre to see The Queen, who toured the building that houses the Millennium Library. In 2004 she officially opened the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital; the following year she visited RAF Coltishall as the base celebrated its 65th year, and in 2010 she returned to Norwich to open the Cathedral’s new Hostry and Refectory. Another memorable visit was in 1993 when The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived on the HMY Britannia at Great Yarmouth, travelled to Thetford to tour Breckland House, then to Oxburgh Hall, near Swaffham, and on to King’s Lynn for the Ascension Day service in St Margaret’s Church.
Of course, Sandringham has continued to be the Royal Family’s choice for their winter holidays, with their Christmas Day morning visit to the parish church of St Mary Magdalene always bringing large crowds to see the Royal party. And last year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moved into Anmer Hall on the Royal estate where they are bringing up Prince George and Princess Charlotte, just a couple of miles from The Queen’s much-loved Sandringham House.
The tradition of The Queen having two birthdays each year began in 1748 when King George II, who was born in November, decided that the public celebration of his birthday would coincide with the more clement weather around the summer Trooping of the Colour military parade.
The Queen’s actual birthday is April 21, but her 90th birthday celebrations this month will be on the weekend of June 10-12. The highlights of the celebrations in London this year include a Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 10, the Trooping of the Colour on June 11 and The Patron’s Lunch with 10,000 guests enjoying a special picnic and entertainment in The Mall to celebrate The Queen’s patronage of 600 charities.
The Queen, from 60 to 90:
From the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA in 2001 and the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 which killed 230,000 people around the Indian Ocean, the past three decades have been filled with important moments in our modern history. And for Her Majesty too, those 30 years have been marked with milestones - including the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the diamond wedding anniversary of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in November 2007, the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and, last autumn, becoming the longest ever reigning British Monarch.
There have been personal highs and lows through these decades. She described 1992 as her“Annus horribilis”, with Princess Anne getting divorced, and the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew both breaking down, as well as the fire at Windsor Castle. In 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash. The year 2002 saw the deaths of both the Queen Mother, aged 101, and Princess Margaret, aged 71. More recent years have brought happier times, including the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005, Prince William marrying Catherine Middleton and the birth of a new generation of great-grandchildren, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte who live at Anmer Hall in north-west Norfolk.