Queen Elizabeth celebrates 90th birthday, fans certain she will be sticking around
On a bright sunny day, on the eve of her 90th birthday, Queen Elizabeth did what she normally does — work.
The monarch's commitment to duty appears not to have wavered over the decades and this particular milestone is no different.
She is already the longest reigning head of the Royal family, having surpassed Queen Victoria in September last year.
PHOTO: School children sung a very special Happy Birthday to Queen Elizabeth. (AFP: Justin Tallis)
Now she is the first monarch to reach the age of 90 while on the throne.
She was serenaded with her first happy birthday rendition at a Royal Mail delivery centre in Windsor.
The postal service is marking an anniversary of its own, having been created 500 years ago.
School children delivered another version of the song as she opened a new bandstand in Alexandra Gardens in Windsor at the foot of the Castle where she and the Duke of Edinburgh are spending increasing amounts of time.
Royal fans adamant Queen sticking around
PHOTO: John Loughrey and friends wait outside Windsor Castle to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty. (ABC: Lisa Millar)
On the doorstep of the castle, well-known royal fan John Loughrey was already holding a spot hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
He rejected any discussion about the next Royal monarch and predicted Queen Elizabeth was going nowhere.
"I'm afraid to tell you but they've got a long wait because I think we will give the Queen to at least 105 years of age and the whole family will be delighted because they treasure her. She's a jewel that shines over the whole world," he said.
Paula Tame stood and waited for the Queen near the bandstand, waving a flag and holding onto her baby Grace Elizabeth, who she named after the monarch.
"I think she'll be going for a long time. I think she's got a lot of life in her. She's always very sprightly even at these occasions," she said.
PHOTO: Paula Tame, baby Grace Elizabeth and Paula Kelly watch Queen Elizabeth open a new bandstand in Windsor.(ABC: Lisa Millar)
The Queen's popularity has continued to rise. And Prince William and his wife Kate have helped improve how the Royal family is regarded.
But the second in line to the throne has faced criticism that he is allowing his grandmother to continue carrying such a heavy burden of duties, even earning the nickname "Work Shy William".
In a series of interviews to mark his grandmother's birthday, he rejected those criticisms.
"I take duty very seriously. I take my responsibilities very seriously. But it's about finding your own way at the right time, and if you're not careful duty can weigh you down at a very early age," Prince William said.
Next month an international horse show will be held at Windsor Castle in honour of the Queen's birthday and 25,000 people are expected to attend.
In June there will be celebrations across the nation for the official birthday date of June 11.
PHOTO: Plates to commemorate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth. (ABC: Lisa Millar)