Queen Elizabeth II (C) posing with her two grandchildren and her five great-grandchildren in the Green Drawing room at Windsor Castle in Windsor. / AFP / ANNIE LIEBOVITZ / Annie Leibovitz /
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Britain celebrated the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II Thursday with tributes to a popular monarch who has steered it through the decline of empire and a wave of scandals to the Internet age.Prime Minister David Cameron hailed her as "a rock of strength for our nation" while her son and heir Prince Charles marked the occasion by reading Shakespeare in a special broadcast on BBC radio.Later on, the monarch, who last year overtook her great-great grandmother queen Victoria to become Britain's longest-reigning monarch, will host a family dinner to celebrate.He said Britain was "uniquely blessed" to have her and praised the queen's "unshakeable sense of duty" while noting she was now "starting to take things a little easier".While still an active monarch, the queen has scaled back her duties in recent years as Prince Charles and grandson Prince William plus wife Kate take a more prominent role.
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