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Today marks the beginning of three days of national celebrations to mark the official 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is also the 95th birthday of her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

From all at Acorn Stairlifts, we wish both Her Majesty and Prince Philip many happy returns!

A national service of thanksgiving will be held today (Friday) at St Paul's Cathedral, attended by members of the Royal Family, senior politicians, diplomats, international dignitaries and hundreds of invited guests. 

Among them will be other 90-year-olds including Sir David Attenborough, and Michael Bond, author and creator of Paddington Bear. Mr Bond has written a reflection on the passing of the years, which will be read by Sir David during the service at St Paul's.

It will begin a weekend of celebrations to mark the Queen's official birthday, including the annual Trooping of the Colour in London's Horse Guards Parade tomorrow (Saturday). The parade will end with members of the Royal family making their usual appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a flypast by the RAF.

On Sunday there will be a more informal atmosphere when the Queen hosts a street party for around 10,000 people at the 'Patron's Lunch', celebrating her patronage of more than 600 organisations in the UK and around the Commonwealth.

Most of the tickets, costing £150 each, were allocated to organisations for which the Queen is patron, with 1,000 allocated in a public ballot. The Mall will be lined with picnic tables for the event, organised by the Queen's grandson Peter Phillips and to be attended by Princes William and Harry.

Other street parties, concerts and celebrations are expected to be held across the UK as communities mount their own events to mark Her Majesty's official 90th birthday.

Meanwhile, Prince Philip will celebrate his birthday privately so as not to detract from the official celebrations for his wife of 68 years. A new official portrait of Her Majesty and Prince Philip (shown here), taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz, has been released by Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen's 90th birthday.

During her reign the Queen has sat for countless official photographs and more than 130 official portrait paintings. In 2015 she became the UK's longest reigning monarch, overtaking Queen Victoria. Throughout her reign there have been 12 Prime Ministers, seven Archbishops of Canterbury and seven Popes.

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