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Apr
21

Queen Elizabeth Celebrates 85th Birthday

85 Men and 85 Women Receive Gifts from the Queen at Westminster Abbey

Happy Birthday to the Queen! In Windsor, 21 guns rang out to mark Queen Elizabeth's 85th birthday.

The queen spent her morning at Westminster Abbey attending a service observing the holy week holiday, Maundy Thursday. During the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth handed out money to elders, a royal tradition that started under the reign of Charles II. The Maundy money, as it's called, was given to 170 people, 85 men and 85 women in honor of each year of Queen Elizabeth's life.

At the age of 85, the birthday girl is now the oldest British monarch ever to rule. She's served as queen for 59 years, having ascended the throne when she was just 25. On Wednesday, Prince Charles set the record as longest heir apparent in British history.

"If she [Queen Elizabeth] lives as long as her mother she could go another 15 years, 16 years, which will put Charles around about 78," Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the Queen, told the Royal Diary. "She has sworn an oath to the people. She is committed until the day she draws her last breath."

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