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Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK
Queen celebrates jubilee birthday
The Queen
The Queen's 76th birthday was a low-key event
The Queen has celebrated her 76th birthday at a scouts' parade in Windsor Castle.

In an event designed to also mark her Golden Jubilee, the Queen reviewed 550 young people on Sunday who have been awarded the Queen's award for personal achievement.

Her special guests were 60 Venture Scouts who carried out ceremonial duties at Westminster for the Queen Mother's funeral.

Countess of Wessex
Countess of Wessex with birthday card from Heatherside pre school

It is less than two weeks since the Queen Mother was interred in the castle's St George's Chapel.

To reflect scouting's worldwide appeal, youngsters from Commonwealth countries were also on parade.

Several thousand well-wishers and tourists, as well as the scouts and their families, lined the castle's courtyard.

They broke into spontaneous clapping, cheering and whistling when the Band of the Irish Guards played "Happy Birthday" for the Queen at the parade's as a surprise.

Edmund Bing, 20, from Greenwich, London, was one of the Venture Scouts who spoke with the Queen.

He said afterwards: "She said how lucky we were to have such nice weather and also what a good turnout it was. She said it was so nice to see so many young people here."

The VIP guest list was headed by Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, High Commissioners of eight Commonwealth countries, Chief Scout George Purdy, Scout Association vice-president Major General Michael Walsh and Welsh Scout Council president William Legge-Bourke.

Royal salute

The Queen was presented with posies by 13-year-old Heather Bender from Greater London South region, and Tom Strickland, 11, from Nottinghamshire. Both were among the Gallantry Award holders.

Heather has coped with a genetic disorder which thickens and hardens her bones and Tom merited his award for rescuing his toddler sister from drowning.

The Duke of Edinburgh accompanied the Queen on the inspection.

The Queen is spending the rest of the day privately at Windsor with family and friends.

On Monday, Royal gun salutes will be fired to mark the Queen's birthday in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and York.

Sunday is the Queen's real birthday. Her official birthday is in June, and is celebrated with the ceremony of Trooping the Colour.

See also:

07 May 98 | UK
Green Queen grabs a cab
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