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Queen's 90th birthday a right royal knees-up

By Angela Rainey

Rain-soaked revellers have celebrated the Queen's 90th birthday as the Duke of Cambridge paid tribute to his grandmother "for everything you've done for your family''.

With typical British stoicism 10,000 well-wishers enjoyed the Patron's Lunch street party in The Mall, braving heavy downpours.

The Duke thanked the guests attending the £150 ticket event for not letting "a little rain spoil a good day out" and praised his "granny" as someone "we all look up to in good times and in challenging moments to set an example".

The Queen in response made the crowds laugh when she joked about future renditions of Happy Birthday: "I much appreciate the kindness of all your birthday wishes, and have been delighted and moved by the many cards and messages I have received.

"How I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday to me in December remains to be seen.''

William, who was joined by Kate, Prince Harry and the Duke of Edinburgh, asked the crowds gathered in front of Buckingham Palace: "I hope you won't mind if I say a personal thank you to the Queen - and to do so on behalf of all her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Granny, thank you for everything you have done for your family. We could not wish you a happier birthday.''

Meanwhile, parties were held across Northern Ireland to celebrate the big day in style.

One of the biggest events was a celebration concert in Lurgan Park on Saturday night attended by over 2,000 people.

Revellers enjoyed family fun before live music from Lurgan singer Emma Horan and George Jones in the evening.

In Crossnacreevy, the Belfast Belles golf team donned their posh frocks and raised their champagne glasses at a ladies-only garden party, tucking in to Union Jack cake, cream buns and the Queen's favourite, cucumber sandwiches.

Meanwhile, youngsters from Millisle Youth Forum had a right royal time dressed up as kings and queens for a Big Lunch.

The princes and princesses enjoyed party games and visits from Minnie Mouse and the Queen of Hearts in a venue decked out with balloons and bunting.

Hillsborough Castle added an air of pomp and ceremony by staging a 21-gun salute at noon followed by an afternoon of music from pipe bands.

Beacons were lit in Belfast, Londonderry, Carrickfergus and Enniskillen, where a special thanksgiving service was held at St Macartin's Cathedral.

Army Cadets trekked to the summit of the UK's four highest peaks including Slieve Donard to each light a beacon while a further 896 were lit across the world.

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