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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 05:21 GMT 06:21 UK
The Queen at 80
The Queen with some of her birthday cards
The Queen has already had 20,000 birthday cards
It's business as usual this week for the Queen as she approaches her 80th birthday on Friday.

Despite her advancing years, she maintains a packed diary.

Some of the events and functions this week will include a birthday reception and lunch at Buckingham Palace, and a service at Windsor Castle and a special "walkabout" to meet the public.

All this week, Breakfast has been looking at the build-up to the Queen's big day

Our coverage day by day:


Friday 21 April: the Queen's birthday

June Kelly reports from Windsor, as crowds gather for the Queen's Birthday
We talked to the crowds gathering in Windsor
We reported live from Windsor, where the Queen will be mingling with crowds later today. This evening, she'll be attending a special dinner thrown for her by Prince Charles.

We discussed the future of the monarchy with William Shawcross, who's writing her biography and Sunder Katwala of the Fabian Society about the future of the monarchy.


Thursday April 20: the Queen on TV

This morning we took a look at the Queen's relationship with the BBC. From the high of the coronation - which at the Queen's own insistence was the first ever to be televised - to the notorious Panorama interview with Princess Diana.

"The Royal Family" documentary was watched by 40 million people

In the late 1960's the BBC was given unprecedented access to the royal family when the Queen's press officer came to the BBC with a proposal - to make a no holds barred programme.

Made in 1969, it was called the Royal Family - and for the first time it allowed the public to eavesdrop on royal conversations.

  • On Breakfast today we spoke to former BBC executive Will Wyatt and to Dickie Arbiter, a former royal press officer

    Dickie Arbiter pointed out that after the 1969 documentary, the Queen never again granted film makers access to her family's private life.

    And he revealed that whichever broadcaster was involved with making programmes about the Queen, the same cameraman and sound recordist are always used.


    Wednesday April 19: celebrating in style

    We heard the stories of two 80 year olds who've been invited to Buckingham Palace to share the Queen's birthday celebrations.
    John Forrester is one of the guests from the Commonwealth

    Joyce Eoziol and John Forrester are two of the 99 people who've been invited to lunch with the Queen today.

    Both told Breakfast that they were honoured to receive the invitation.

  • You can see an exhibition of photographs of the Queen at Windsor Castle, until 11 March 2007 - full details can be found from the link to the right of this page


    Tuesday April 18: style icon

    Coming to the throne at the age of 26, the young Queen Elizabeth became something of a style icon.

    The Queen
    Matching hats, coats and gloves are a favourite

    Her clothes, hats and hairstyles were followed avidly by a public starved of glamour in an era of post-war austerity.

    But how has the Queen's style evolved over the years?

    Editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, Ingrid Seward looked at some of the queen's favourite styles and spoke to designers Bruce Oldfield and Caroline Charles.

  • There's a special programme celebrating the Queen's birthday onBC One on Friday 21 April at 12 noon.

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