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The Duchess of Cornwall Hails Volunteers ‘The Backbone of Our Country’

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The Duchess of Cornwall hails volunteers ‘the backbone of our country’ as NHS Volunteer Responders reach 250,000 milestone at start of Volunteers’ Week

  • Role of NHS Volunteer Responders recognised by The Duchess of Cornwall at start of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2020) with 250,000 tasks performed to date
  • Over the past few weeks The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Countess of Wessex and The Duchess of Gloucester have joined the ranks of Volunteer Responders, taking part in ‘Check in and Chat’ calls with those self-isolating, vulnerable or elderly
  • The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service continue to encourage those needing support to self-refer by calling 0808 196 3646

To mark Volunteers’ Week and in recognition of a milestone quarter of a million tasks having been carried out by NHS Volunteer Responders, Royal Voluntary Service President, The Duchess of Cornwall, has thanked volunteers across the country for the many acts of kindness they provide.

The first week of June is traditionally Volunteers’ Week, when we celebrate our unsung heroes. This year in particular, we owe a great debt of thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stepped forward in astonishing numbers, pulling together to support those affected by COVID-19. As the very proud President of the Royal Voluntary Service, I should like to say that you truly are the backbone of our country. To each and every volunteer – thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

A quarter of a million tasks have now been carried out by the NHS Volunteer Responders recruited by Royal Voluntary Service to support the NHS and to help the most vulnerable to coronavirus. To aid people isolating during the pandemic, the volunteers have been providing grocery and prescription deliveries, lifts to medical appointments and ‘check in and chat’ calls.

With hundreds of thousands of volunteers on call from Carlisle to Canterbury, the NHS Volunteer Responders are able to leap into action wherever help is needed. The scheme now averages 7,000 tasks a day, and 98% of requests for help – which can be made by referrers or individuals – are delivered within 24 hours, the majority (70%) matched and delivered within two hours. The app, which quickly pinpoints the nearest volunteer using geo location, provides an effective safety net during the pandemic.

Members of the Royal Family have also joined the ranks of NHS Volunteer Responders for ‘check in and chat’ calls. Over the past few weeks, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Countess of Wessex and The Duchess of Gloucester have been making calls to people self-isolating in the community as part of the 250,000 tasks completed to date.

One of The Duchess of Cornwall’s calls was to Doris Winfield who has been self-isolating. Doris, aged 85 in Rickmansworth, said “Having a chat with The Duchess of Cornwall meant the world to me. I’ve been incredibly lonely over the last couple of months and it was wonderful to talk to her. We talked about life in isolation and shared hobbies. She was very interested in my family and how I was coping. It really cheered me up.”

One of the calls made by The Duchess of Cambridge was to Donna Williams (aged 42) a mother of two who is currently shielding her daughter Alessandra who has a rare form of Type 1 Diabetes.

One of The Countess of Wessex’s calls was to Harry Deboo, aged 89 from Liverpool. Harry lost his wife around three years ago and recently had a triple by-pass – he also received a letter saying he must self-isolate. Harry said “It was great to chat to The Countess of Wessex and really made my week. I have one son who doesn’t live locally – so I don’t get to see many people – especially now. I also like to keep the memory of my wife alive and it was great to chat about her. She really listened to every word and it was great to share our lockdown experiences together!”

The Duchess of Gloucester spoke with Beverly Webb aged 82 from Maidenhead. Beverly is housebound and lives alone and is missing the social interaction she had before lockdown.

The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service are encouraging anyone in need of support – whether they have been asked to shield by a health professional or are vulnerable for another reason – to seek help by calling 0808 196 3646.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “With Volunteers’ Week fast approaching we want to say a huge thank you to all the NHS Volunteer Responders ‘on call’ across the country and to our Royal Voluntary Service volunteers, many of whom have been supporting their community and the NHS for decades. 

“Volunteering has never been so critical and our volunteers, complementing those from other organisations, make a huge difference and give many people a much needed safety net.

“This is a marathon not a sprint and as members of families, social groups and communities go back to work as lockdown restrictions ease, the support of our volunteers will continue to be needed.”

Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May said: “Thanks to the kindness of the British public at our greatest time of need, thousands of people across the country have been supported by our volunteers – we know that the smallest task has made a world of difference during these uncertain times.

“We are extremely grateful for the incredible efforts so far, which will continue over the coming months – in every village, town and city in England, there are people on hand who can help you and your loved ones so do not hesitate to get in touch if you need support. From a phone call if you’re isolating to getting help with shopping and medication, the NHS army of helpers are there for you.”

Royal Voluntary Service, the national volunteering charity, will also be hosting a special online event to thank its volunteers and the NHS Volunteer Responders for their contribution, particularly during the current time.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, will give her personal message of thanks to volunteers at the event via video message. There will be other messages and exclusive performances from this year’s winners of The Greatest Dancer, Michael and Jowita, the London Contemporary Voices Choir and former Royal Harpist, Anne Denholm. 

The Royal Voluntary Service event of thanks will take place on Monday 1st June 2020 at 2pm at the Royal Voluntary Service Virtual Village Hall Facebook group, on the Royal Voluntary Service website and via the Virtual Village Hall YouTube channel

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery who are supporting the Volunteers’ Week thank you event, said: “Volunteers give their time, energy and enthusiasm to help others and we are grateful for their selfless service. We’re delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting Royal Voluntary Service and are proud supporters of Volunteers’ Week.”

Royal Garden Parties – Fruit Scone Recipe

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A Royal Recipe for fruit scones

Every year at Garden Parties across The Royal Residences, over 27,000 cups of ☕️, 20,000 🥪 and 20,000 slices of 🍰 are consumed! The Royal Pastry Chefs are happy to share their recipe for fruit scones, which traditionally would be served at Buckingham Palace every summer. Remember to tag us in your #royalbakes creations! 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀: -500g Plain Flour -28g Baking Powder -94g Butter -86g Sugar -2 Whole Eggs -140ml Butter Milk -100g Sultanas (Cover in hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes) 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱: -Preheat oven to 180 C -Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar together in a bowl, until a crumb is formed -In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together -Add the liquid to the crumb mixture -Continue to mix the dough, until it is smooth -(Optional) Add the sultanas, and mix until evenly distributed 1Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten the dough and cover -Leave to rest for approximately 30 minutes -Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2.5 cm and cut to desired shape -Rest the scones for another 20 minutes -Gently egg was the top of the scones -Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown -Cool before serving with jam and clotted cream Enjoy!

Posted by The Royal Family on Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Royal Garden Parties

At this time of year, Her Majesty The Queen and other Members of the Royal Family are usually out and about enjoying the sunshine and attending various engagements and Garden Parties.

Royal Garden Parties date back to the 1860’s when Queen Victoria used to hold afternoon ‘breakfasts’ in the palace
gardens. These used to take place twice a year in the summer months until the 1950’s when a third party was added to the calendar, initially to take the place of debutantes’ presentation parties.

These parties are now a way of recognising and rewarding people in public service or as a celebration
of something.

As today would have been the third Garden Party of the season, we’re sharing some fun facts about Royal Garden Parties and Buckingham Palace’s fruit scone recipe, direct from the Royal Pastry Chefs.

Garden Party Facts

• 27,000 cups of tea are served.
• 20,000 sandwiches are served.
• 20,000 slices of cake are served.
• Over 400 waiting staff are required for each party.
• Ladies are to wear afternoon dress with a hat or fascinator.
• Gentlemen are to wear lounge suits or morning dress. Uniform or national dress is permitted.
• Tea and other refreshments are served on long buffet tables.
• On duty at Buckingham Palace are the Yeoman of the Guard, Gentlemen at Arms and Gentlemen Ushers.
• On duty at Holyroodhouse are the Royal Company Archers and High Constables of the Palace.
• Over 8,000 guests are invited to the three main events. Guest have to be recommended by their society or organisation before standing a chance to be selected.
• The Lord Chamberlain’s Office sends out the invitations on behalf of the Queen and makes all the arrangements for the day.

Fruit Scone Recipe

The Royal Pastry Chefs are happy to share their recipe for fruit scones, which traditionally would be served at Buckingham Palace every summer.

𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀:
– 500g Plain Flour
– 28g Baking Powder
– 94g Butter
– 86g Sugar
– 2 Whole Eggs
– 140ml Butter Milk
– 100g Sultanas (Cover in hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes)

𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱:
– Preheat oven to 180 C
– Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar together in a bowl, until a crumb is formed
– In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together
– Add the liquid to the crumb mixture
– Continue to mix the dough, until it is smooth
– (Optional) Add the sultanas, and mix until evenly distributed
– Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten the dough and cover
– Leave to rest for approximately 30 minutes
– Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2.5 cm and cut to desired shape
– Rest the scones for another 20 minutes
– Gently egg was the top of the scones
– Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown
– Cool before serving with jam and clotted cream

Enjoy!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020: Mental Health Minute

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Mental Health Minute

This morning, to kick off #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, the #MentalHealthMinute was played on over 400 radio stations in the UK, connecting over 20 million people across the country. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Harry Kane, Anthony Joshua, Dua Lipa, and David Tennant joined forces with incredible volunteers and supporters of our charity partners to spread the important message that no matter how isolated you might be feeling, we’re all connected and you are not alone. So, take this moment to reach out to someone – let them know how you’re feeling, and ask them how they are too. And know that if you want to talk but aren’t sure where to turn, our charity partners are there for you with different services available all day, every day. Visit www.headstogether.org.uk to find out more. Radiocentre

Posted by Heads Together on Sunday, 17 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020: Mental Health Minute

Heads Together are proud to be a part of Mental Health Awareness Week, and support the incredible work of their charity partners and other individuals and organisations working to change the conversation on mental health.

This morning, they’re kicking it all off with the Mental Health Minute. For the third year running, Heads Together have teamed up with Radiocentre and at 10:59 today – Monday the 18th of May, the Mental Health Minute will play to over 20 million people across every radio station in the UK.

And this year, it’s bigger than ever, with more stations involved than ever before and an incredible group of people lined up to share this important message.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be joined for the one minute message by England captain Harry Kane, singer-songwriter Dua Lipa, two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and actor David Tennant, as well as inspiring mental health advocates, ambassadors and volunteers from our charity partners have come together to voice this important message.

Don’t miss it! Tune in at 10:59 this morning!

“If you’re struggling, it’s important to talk about it. Or if someone you know is acting differently, it’s OK to ask how they are. Use this moment to send a message.” – The Duchess of Cambridge

Through the Mental Health Minute, Heads Together want to remind everyone that whoever you are and whatever you’re going through, we’re all connected and you are not alone.

It’s important you know that it’s ok to reach out for help if you need it, and their charity partners are there for you.

TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT HOW YOU’RE FEELING

Royal Family Marks International Nurses’ Day

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To mark International Nurses’ Day The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Princess Royal, The Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra have joined together to pay tribute to the world’s nurses, speaking with healthcare professionals working in Australia, India, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Bahamas, Cyprus, Tanzania and the UK.

On the calls, Members of The Royal Family spoke with nurses about the work they are doing, with many talking about the impact of Covid-19 and how they were coping with the pandemic. On each call, members of The Royal Family reiterated their thanks to nurses across the Commonwealth for the incredible work they do on a daily basis. 

Nurses and midwives make up half the global health care workforce and play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary community care.

The Royal Family have numerous nursing affiliations and Patronages. Her Majesty has links – as Royal Patron or President – with over 600 organisations which include the Canadian Nurses Association, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps, Royal College of Nursing and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

On International Nurses Day, The Queen spoke with Professor Kathleen McCourt, the President of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation and Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, of which The Queen is Patron.

The Duchess of Cornwall marked International Nurses Day by writing a letter of support to nurses supported by Ronald Dahl’s Marvellous Children Charity, of which Her Royal Highness became Patron of in 2017. The Prince of Wales too has supported the vital work of our nurses too. In July 2019, The Prince launched the Royal College of Nursing which gives young members of uniformed organisations an introduction to a potential career in nursing. Prior to that, in 2018, His Royal Highness also hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate frontline nursing in the UK.

Over the week, The Duke of Cambridge spoke to nurses at The Royal Marsden of which he is President. The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron of Nursing Now, a global campaign to improve health by raising the status and profile of nursing. 

This week Nursing Now helped facilitate calls with The Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex to nurses in seven different Commonwealth countries, including Aberdeen Women’s Centre (AWC) in Sierra Leone. In January, The Countess visited AWC in FreeTown to see how it supports children and adult survivors of gender-based violence. Their Royal Highnesses also spoke nurses and medical staff in Queensland, Australia, India, Malawi, The Bahamas, Cyprus and The UK.

Over the weekend The Princess Royal called Tanzania to speak with the Programme Manager of a medical ship that provides facilities for those with little or no access to medical care, and is supported by the Vine Trust of which Her Royal Highness is Patron. 

Princess Alexandra, The Queen’s cousin, spoke to the head of the Naval Nursing Service in her role as Patron of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service. Her Royal Highness has long held associations with numerous medical charities including The Florence Nightingale Foundation, St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham and The British Red Cross Society. Since becoming Royal Parton of St Christopher’s Hospice in 1881, Princess Alexandra has visited every year since 1982 including in February 2020 to spend time with patients, their families and dedicated staff and volunteers.

Other members of The Royal Family such as The Duke and Duchess of Kent and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have proudly supported numerous medical charities such as the Royal Army Medical Corps, Medical Women’s Federation, The Royal Society of Medicine and St Leonard’s Hospice.

Royal’s Mark 75th Anniversary of VE Day

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Wartime Commemorations

Royal’s Mark 75th Anniversary of VE Day

On the 8th May 2020 at 11 am, The Prince of Wales accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall will lead the nation in two minutes’ silence to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Their Royal Highnesses will lead the silence from Scotland, which will be broadcast live by the BBC. 

Due to the Coronavirus, the BBC will be broadcasting a service from Westminster, starting at 10:50 am BST, where socially-distanced wreath-laying will take place.

A two-minute silence will follow at 11 am, with a re-broadcast of Winston Churchill’s speech at 14:45 pm, where people will be invited to stand up and raise a glass in a national toast, saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you”.

And finally, at 21:00 pm, a pre-recorded message from Her Majesty The Queen will be broadcast.  

And if you’re wondering what VE Day is, here are some interesting facts…

  • Victory in Europe or VE Day on May 8th, 1945 saw Britain and its Allies formally accept Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after almost six years of war.

    At 15:00, following Germany’s surrender the day before, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced on the radio that the war in Europe had come to an end.
  • In 1945, at the age of 18, The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, became a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and is the only surviving monarch in the world to have served in the Second World War.
  • Following the German surrender, spontaneous celebrations broke out across the length and breadth of the country, and the then Princess, and her sister Princess Margaret, ventured out of Buckingham Palace with a group of friends, in secret, to experience the excitement in London.
    The Queen described it as “one of the most memorable nights of my life”.

To keep up with the day’s activities and to let us know how you will be celebrating, please visit us on Facebook or Twitter

We hope you’ll join us in saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you”.

Wartime Commemorations

Happy 1st Birthday Archie

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share video of Meghan reading “Duck! Rabbit!” to Archie. The video was released in support of Save the Children UK

A Very Happy 1st Birthday to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since we welcomed the son of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world!

To say it’s been a year of changes for Prince Harry and Meghan is a slight understatement, but while they settle into their new lives, we’re celebrating Archie’s first birthday with a few fun first facts. 

  • As the eighth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, little Archie was introduced to Her Majesty and Prince Philip at only two days old. The Queen and Prince Philip were also the first members of the Royal Family to meet the new addition. 
  • Archie embarked on his first Royal Tour at the young age of four months old. The family tour to Southern Africa included a special meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who joked that the four month old is “going to be a ladies’ man”.
  • Another exciting milestone for Archie was his first glimpse of snow! Prince Harry revealed the news at a private Sentebale fundraiser in January, saying: “It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you, and to feel your excitement for our son Archie, who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!”

As always, we’d love to hear your birthday messages for Archie, so please be sure to visit us on Facebook or Twitter to share your special message.

Below are birthday messages from Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge…


And a bit of a throwback to last year, when we first heard the exciting news…

Happy Birthday Princess Charlotte

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Princess Charlotte 5th Birthday Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge

A Very Happy 5th Birthday to HRH Princess Charlotte

Today we’re celebrating the fifth birthday of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, born on the 2nd May 2015 at St Mary’s Hospital, London.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have very kindly released four images to mark Her Royal Highness’s special day. 

The images were taken by The Duchess as the family helped to pack up and deliver food packages for isolated pensioners in the local area.

Princess Charlotte 5th Birthday Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte 5th Birthday Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Princess Charlotte 5th Birthday Credit: The Duchess of Cambridge

To celebrate Princess Charlotte’s special day, we’re sharing some fun facts you may not know about the birthday girl!

Like many children her age, Princess Charlotte loves unicorns!
During an official visit to mark Emergency Services Day in 2019, The Duke of Cambridge commented on a piece of art, created by children of firefighters, saying, “My daughter loves unicorns. Loves them. Very cool.”

Proud dad, Prince William, has also been reported telling the Prime Minister of Malta that Princess Charlotte “loves dancing.” 

The Duchess of Cambridge also shared that she’s a keen gymnast, “Charlotte is really into gymnastics, she’s doing cartwheels, handstands, everything. It’s so good for their basic skills of balance and coordination.” The proud Duchess shared this during an official royal visit to Ireland in 2020.

Thanks to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis’ Spanish nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, the five-year-old is reported to be “already chatting away in Spanish.” 

A Royal insider shared that, “William, who speaks five languages — English, French, Swahili, Welsh and Gaelic  — asked Maria to introduce Spanish to the kids at an early age so that it would come naturally to them and it’s worked.”

As always, we’d love to hear your birthday messages for Princess Charlotte, so please be sure to visit us on Facebook or Twitter to share your special message.

The Duchess of Cornwall Marks International Dance Day

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To mark International Dance Day, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has recorded a video conversation with Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, President of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Angela Rippon CBE, Ambassador for the organisation’s Silver Swans initiative. Today the RAD have also announced Her Royal Highness as their new Vice-Patron. Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron of the Academy since 1953. 

In the video, Her Royal Highness discusses the importance of active ageing and her own experience participating in Silver Swans, an initiative created specially for older learners using ballet to improve mobility, posture, coordination and energy levels. During the current crisis, the Royal Academy of Dance have launched a free online series of Silver Swans classes, with a new video available every Wednesday via their website and social media channels. 

The Duchess of Cornwall previously visited the RAD’s headquarters in Battersea in February 2018, where she met a group of Silver Swans students and watched performances by participants from the organisations other programmes. These included Project B, an initiative to encourage boys into ballet, and a teacher training demonstration. 

During Their Royal Highnesses’ tour to New Zealand in 2019, The Duchess visited a Silver Swans class at a Salvation Army Centre in Christchurch.

Happy Birthday Prince Louis

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Prince Louis' 2nd Birthday Photo credit: The Duchess of Cambridge

A Very Happy 2nd Birthday to Prince Louis of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released photographs of Prince Louis to celebrate his second birthday.

The images were taken earlier this month by The Duchess of Cambridge at Anmer Hall.

It appears the Prince had a wonderful time getting creative and making rainbows!

Prince Louis’ 2nd Birthday Photo credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis’ 2nd Birthday
Photo credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis’ 2nd Birthday
Photo credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis’ 2nd Birthday
Photo credit: The Duchess of Cambridge
Prince Louis’ 2nd Birthday Photo credit: The Duchess of Cambridge

Clarence House has also sent Prince Louis a birthday message and shared a special photograph of The Prince of Wales hugging the young Prince.

Happy Birthday Your Majesty

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Happy Birthday to The Queen

Thank you for your messages today, on The Queen’s 94th birthday. 🎈🎉 Head of the Commonwealth, Head of the Armed Forces, Head of State in 16 countries and the longest reigning Monarch in British History. Wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Happy birthday, Your Majesty! In this private footage from the Royal Collection Trust, we see The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) with her family, including her younger sister Princess Margaret. To those of you also celebrating your birthdays at home during this time, with or without your loved ones - we send you many happy returns. Read more about The Queen’s life and work on our website: https://bit.ly/3cwSG8P

Posted by The Royal Family on Tuesday, 21 April 2020

To celebrate Her Majesty’s 94th Birthday, private footage from the Royal Collection Trust has been released (see above). In the footage, we see The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, with her family, including her younger sister Princess Margaret.

Birthday messages for Her Majesty have also been shared with a special selection below.

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