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Last Updated: Friday April 21 2006 12:13 GMT

Queen celebrates 80th at Windsor

The Queen on walkabout in Windsor
The Queen has been sharing her 80th birthday celebrations with thousands of people who gathered at Windsor Castle in Berkshire for the occasion.

Joined by her husband, Prince Philip, the Queen met the crowds on a 45-minute walkabout outside the castle, accepting gifts, cards and flowers.

A Royal spokesman said the Queen had received 20,000 cards and 17,000 e-mails from people around the world.

"I have been very touched by what you have written," said the Queen.

The walkabout started after a 21-gun salute in nearby Windsor Great Park.

As Her Majesty came out of the castle, the band of the Irish Guards struck up the music to Happy Birthday.

Later, the Queen will join her family for a private dinner to be hosted by her son, Prince Charles, in London.

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