Queen Elizabeth II turns 91 with quiet day, gun salutes

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, west of London on April 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / PETER NICHOLLS

LONDON — Britain marked Queen Elizabeth II’s 91st birthday on Friday with gun salutes, as the monarch celebrated quietly at home.

A troop of the Royal Horse Artillery rode horse-and-gun carriages past Buckingham Palace before staging a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park at noon (1100GMT.)

Outside the palace, a band of guardsmen in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats played “Happy Birthday” during the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

There was a second salute with 62 guns at the centuries-old Tower of London.

The queen is Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, having become queen on Feb. 6, 1952. She is also the world’s longest-reigning living monarch since the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej last year.

The queen usually spends her birthday privately. She also has an official birthday, marked in June — when the weather is better — with the “Trooping the Color” military parade.