Skip to main content

Queen Elizabeth II marks 86th birthday

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 1, 2012 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
Queen Elizabeth II, pictured here in Manchester on March 23, 2012, is said to be celebrating her birthday privately.
Queen Elizabeth II, pictured here in Manchester on March 23, 2012, is said to be celebrating her birthday privately.
  • NEW: Teams of horses pull guns into position in Hyde Park for a 41-gun salute
  • A 62-gun salute is fired at the Tower of London for the Queen's 86th birthday
  • The Queen has an official birthday in June when she takes part in public events
  • She celebrates her Diamond Jubilee -- marking 60 years on the throne -- this year

London (CNN) -- Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 86th birthday Saturday privately at Windsor Castle, a palace spokesman said.

The Queen also has an official birthday in June, which will be celebrated publicly as part of events to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment fired a 62-gun salute for her real birthday at the Tower of London, Retired Lt. Col. Stuart Green said.

Hundreds of guests gathered for the salute, which included 21 guns for the Queen's birthday, 21 because it's a royal palace and 20 guns to show the City of London's loyalty to the monarch, Green said.

Student art forms Queen's image

The regiment, usually based in Gibraltar, is currently in London for ceremonial duties including guarding Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, he said.

A 41-gun salute in Hyde Park and a 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park were also held to honor the Queen.

The salute in Hyde Park was performed by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, using teams of galloping horses to pull six World War I-era guns into position. The 41 rounds were then fired at 10-second intervals, the Ministry of Defence said.

On her official birthday each June, the Queen and other members of the royal family attend the Trooping the Colour military parade in central London.

CNN's Bharati Naik and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
June 5, 2012 -- Updated 2103 GMT (0503 HKT)
Diamond Jubilee celebrations reached a colorful climax Tuesday as the queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
June 12, 2012 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
Her outfits don't send fashion watchers into a frenzy like those of the Duchess of Cambridge, but the queen has her own signature style.
June 5, 2012 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Buckingham Palace transformed into a rock venue on Monday as some of the biggest names in music celebrated the diamond jubilee.
June 20, 2012 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Who is your favorite Royal? What is your message to the Queen? Londoners report for CNN!
June 4, 2012 -- Updated 0937 GMT (1737 HKT)
Celebrate the queen's Diamond Jubilee with this specially-created CNN jigsaw puzzle of royal pictures.
August 16, 2012 -- Updated 0041 GMT (0841 HKT)
The longest serving consort, the Duke of Edinburgh has been a constant companion at the queen's side for over 60 years.
June 5, 2012 -- Updated 1025 GMT (1825 HKT)
The Thames became a sea of red, white and blue Sunday, as tens of thousands celebrated the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
June 5, 2012 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Excitement is building for what are expected to be jubilant festivities to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the throne.
June 3, 2012 -- Updated 1752 GMT (0152 HKT)
CNN iReport celebrates the British monarchy ahead of the Diamond Jubilee this weekend from June 2-5.
June 5, 2012 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
When Queen Elizabeth II takes to the Thames it won't be the first time the royals have made merry on the river.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 1533 GMT (2333 HKT)
Our world today is almost unrecognizable compared with 1952, the year Queen Elizabeth took her coronation oath.
Queen By Numbers
From the amount of letters she has received during her reign to the distance she has traveled, we take a quirky look at the Queen's life in numbers.
June 5, 2012 -- Updated 1032 GMT (1832 HKT)
The queen's diamond jubilee celebrations show how proud Britons are to have Elizabeth as their head of state.
2012 marks the 60th year in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. CNN will be in London celebrating with the British royal family. Follow the coverage of this majestic event with CNN.