Queen Elizabeth, World’s Oldest Monarch, Celebrates 92nd Birthday

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Abimbola Akosile with agency report

The world’s oldest and longest-reigning living monarch, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, yesterday attended a star-studded special concert as she celebrated her 92nd birthday.

According to a Reuters report, Welsh singer Tom Jones kicked off the show with his hit “It’s not Unusual” before Elizabeth appeared in the royal box of London’s Albert Hall, flanked by her family. Kylie Minogue, Sting, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Shaggy were among those on the bill, along with stars of the stage and screen.

The event, according to the report, was a break in tradition for the queen who usually spends her birthday privately with little public celebration, although there were nationwide events to mark her 90th version.

The concert came at the end of a week in which leaders and dignitaries from 53 countries came to London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and featured performers from the network of mostly former British colonies.

The queen is head of the Commonwealth. The major beneficiary of yesterday’s event, televised live on BBC TV and radio, was the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust youth charity, of which her grandson Prince Harry was appointed president this week.

Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, and became queen in 1952 at the age of 25. She has now reigned for more than 66 years.

She still carries out official engagements but her husband Prince Philip, who spent 10 days in hospital this month for a hip replacement, retired from public life last year.

As is customary with monarch’s birthdays, soldiers from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Hon. Artillery Company fired gun salutes in London’s Hyde Park and the Tower of London earlier on Saturday.

Elizabeth also has an “official” birthday in June, which is marked with a large parade of soldiers through central London, known as Trooping the Colour.