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Star-studded gala marks the Queen’s 90th birthday


The Queen’s life was celebrated with a spectacular equine themed show featuring stars of stage and screen who performed in honour of her 90th birthday.

Held in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the Queen’s celebration was marked with a majestic displays of famous horse troupes, both military and civilian, from around the world.

The two-hour event, which came at the culmination of the annual Windsor Horse Show, was broadcast live on ITV and hosted by Ant and Dec.

Among the famous faces who performed in honour of the Queen were Kylie Minogue, Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Shirley Bassey.

The Queen and Prince Philip were the last members of the royal party to arrive at the event and when her horse drawn carriage arrived the royal couple were greeted by Charles and Camilla.

The heir to the throne kissed his mother on both cheeks and on her gloved hand while his wife curtseyed to the monarch.

Famous actors narrated the historic moments from the Queen’s life starting with Downton Abbey star Jim Carter who covered the monarch’s childhood years and introduced his wife Imelda Staunton who performed a song.

Dame Helen took the audience through the monarch’s war years and went on to describe the young Queen’s coronation on June 2 1953.

Mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins gave a rousing rendition of I Vow To Thee My Country.

The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday on April 21, and Prince Charles, writing in the official programme to mark the event, wished his mother “the happiest of very special birthdays”.

He also paid tribute to the Queen’s passion for horses, the theme of the show and a passion she inherited from her mother and has had her whole life – the Queen has been cheering on her horses for more than 60 years.

One of the highlights of the night was a performance by Australian pop queen Kylie, who sang a version of her song I Believe In You.

As she performed, Jean-Francois Pignon, introduced as the horse whisperer of France, enthralled spectators with his command of a group of horses, including a Shetland pony.

Actor Damian Lewis told the crowds: “One of the key pillars of this celebration is the Commonwealth. The Queen’s commitment and dedication to it is immense.”

Military bands from across the Commonwealth performed but the New Zealand Army Band stole this part of the show playing Vangelis’ theme from the film Chariots Of Fire, which had the spectators laughing as two of the band ran in slow motion.


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The finale saw all the performers assemble in the main arena for the closing moments when a birthday cake was brought out.

Dame Shirley Bassey sang the James Bond theme Diamonds Are Forever, before the Happy Birthday song was played, followed by the National Anthem.

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