YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The World

Britain Marks Royal Birthday

June 12, 2005|From Associated Press

LONDON — Britain put on one of its grandest annual shows of royal pageantry Saturday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's official 79th birthday.

In a spectacular display of precision marching and horsemanship choreographed to the music of a military band, about 1,220 soldiers in ceremonial red uniforms and tall black bearskin caps saluted the monarch in the ceremony near Buckingham Palace.

The queen turned 79 on April 21, but public celebrations of the British monarch's birthday are always held on a Saturday in June, when there is a better chance of good weather.

Thousands of people filled sidewalks around the palace on a cloudy day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the queen.

"I've got goose bumps. It's wonderful. I've got to see the queen," said Beryl Sixsmith, 64, who came to London from her hometown of Manchester, in northern England.

The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, who celebrated his 84th birthday Friday, rode in an open carriage from Buckingham Palace along the wide, tree-lined Mall to the parade ground.

After the hour-long ceremony, the queen and her family gathered on the palace balcony to watch Royal Air Force jets fly by in her honor.

Los Angeles Times Articles