The Duke of Cambridge has paid a heartfelt tribute to the Queen, telling her “granny, thank you for everything you’ve done for your family” as the nation marked her 90th birthday.
As the weekend’s celebrations marking the Queen’s milestone drew to a close, William told thousands of well-wishers at the Patron’s Lunch party that the Queen is someone “we all look up to in good times and in challenging moments to set an example”.
The Queen in response made the crowds laugh when she joked about future renditions of Happy Birthday: “I much appreciate the kindness of all your birthday wishes, and have been delighted and moved by the many cards and messages I have received.
“How I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday to me in December remains to be seen.”
William, who was joined by Kate, Prince Harry and the Duke of Edinburgh, said to the crowds gathered in The Mall: “I hope you won’t mind if I say a personal thank you to the Queen - and to do so on behalf of all her grandchildren - and great-grandchildren.
“Granny, thank you for everything you have done for your family. We could not wish you a happier birthday.”
The 10,000 guests gathered in The Mall for the event celebrating the Queen’s patronage of more than 600 charities and organisations cheered.
They had spent much of the day under ponchos braving heavy downpours that had left them and their picnic hamper lunch sodden.
But after the Queen made an appearance the sun soon broke through.
William told the wellwishers: “The Queen’s strong health and relentless energy; her sharp wit and famous sense of humour; and the fact that the Queen remains very much at the helm of our family, our nation and the Commonwealth.
“The Queen at 90 is the one Head of State that world leaders can turn to for a first-hand perspective of the arc of history over the last six decades.
“At 90, the Queen is the leader of our country, who we all look up to in good times and in challenging moments to set an example, and to guide the way ahead.”