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Queen's 90th birthday falls in busy year for the Royals

Milestone birthdays - young and old - a tour of India and an Olympic dream are just some of the events the Royal Family has to look forward to in 2016.

What does the next 12 months have in store for the Windsors?

:: The Queen's 90th

The big event for 2016 is undoubtedly the Queen's 90th birthday. Elizabeth II - the country's longest reigning sovereign in history - becomes the first British monarch to reach 90 and become a nonagenarian.

Her actual birthday is on April 21. Celebrations will also focus on her official birthday with a weekend of national commemorations from June 10 - 12 including a mass street party in The Mall, a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral and the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony

The service at St Paul's on June 10 coincides with the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday.

A theatrical spectacular is also being held in Home Park, Windsor Castle in May, featuring 900 horses and 1,500 participants including musicians, dancers and choirs, as well as famous actors and artists.

:: Princess Charlotte's 1st birthday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's daughter Princess Charlotte turns one on May 2. The fourth in line to the throne will celebrate with a family party, with William and Kate likely to release photos of their second child to mark the occasion.

:: George at nursery

Charlotte's older brother Prince George, who turns three on July 22, is starting nursery in January. George will be enrolled for a few days a week at the Westacre Montessori School nursery near William and Kate's Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.

From September - the term after he turns three - he will be eligible for 15 hours a week free early education or childcare.

The government is also introducing a further 15 hours free childcare but whether George would be eligible for this additional amount is not known - it depends on parental income and working hours.

His father William had his first experience of school at Mrs Mynors' Nursery School in west London, close to Kensington Palace, which he joined aged three years and three months in September 1985.

:: William and Kate head to India

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will carry out an official tour of India in the spring - the first time either of them has visited the country.

George and Charlotte are expected to stay at home with their nanny.

The trip comes 24 years after William's parents travelled to India in 1992 when the Princess of Wales was famously pictured sitting alone in front of the monument to love, the Taj Mahal, prompting rumours about the state of her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

:: The 40th anniversary of The Prince's Trust

Charles's charity The Prince's Trust marks 40 years since its creation.

The Prince set up the organisation in 1976 using money he was given when he left the Navy. It has become the UK's leading youth charity, offering training, personal development, business start up support, mentoring and advice.

TV presenters Ant and Dec have made a documentary about the Trust, which features the Geordie duo following the Prince on a number of engagements. The 90-minute special will be broadcast on ITV on Monday January 4 at 9pm.

:: Going for Gold

The Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips is hoping to compete in the Olympics and has set her sights on a gold medal.

Equestrian eventer Phillips is working towards a place in the Team GB squad for Rio 2016 in August.

She won a team silver at London 2012 and has spoken of how motherhood and the arrival of her daughter Mia, who is nearly two, has made her even more determined to succeed at competitive sport.

:: The Crown

A major new Netflix drama The Crown is due to premiere on the on-demand service in 2016.

"Two houses, two courts, one Crown" is its tagline.

Billed as the "gripping, decades-spanning inside story" of the Queen and the Prime Ministers who shaped Britain's post-war destiny, it looks at the " intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century".

The cast includes Wolf Hall star Claire Foy as the Queen and former Doctor Who Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh. It was written by Peter Morgan, who was behind the film The Queen, and is being directed by Stephen Daldry.

Whether the real-life Windsors will tune in to this series remains to be discovered.


From Belfast Telegraph