Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 91st birthday on Friday, with the world’s longest-reigning monarch taking a step back from royal duties to allow the younger generation to step forward.
A gun salute at London’s Tower Bridge and at Hyde Park will mark the Queen’s birthday, a notably more low-key affair after a year of festivities to mark her hitting 90.
A thousand beacons were lit around the country on April 21, 2016, and other events last year included street parties and a pageant at her Windsor Castle home.
“I’m still alive,” the Queen joked in June during a visit to Northern Ireland, one of the numerous engagements filling the royal calendar.
But the ever-popular monarch has begun handing over duties to other royals, standing down as patron of 25 bodies at the end of last year, including the Wimbledon tennis championships.
While her eldest child Prince Charles is heir to the throne, greater attention has fallen on his two sons William and Harry, who have taken on some of the Queen’s duties.
The arrival of Prince William and his wife Kate’s two children — Prince George and Princess Charlotte — has cemented the country’s positive view of the royal family.
Prince Harry is also admired, receiving widespread acclaim this week for speaking out about seeking counselling years after his mother’s death when he was a child.