Patriotic pensioners in South Tyneside served up a birthday bash fit for a Queen – and helped the borough play its part in a nationwide celebration.
Residents at sheltered housing and care homes across the borough stirred up support for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her milestone 90th birthday by hosting of a series of tea party events.
Staff at Garden Hill Care Home, Bulmer House sheltered home and Patrick Cain House, all in South Shields, got out their finest china to set the table for a day of ‘royal-tea’-themed fun.
Staff and residents at Garden Hill Care Home, in St Michael’s Avenue, went the extra mile to honour a national figure with a ‘very special place’ in their hearts.
Residents worked tirelessly to create patriotic decorations, while families and staff members donated vintage cake-stands and tea-sets before catering staff provided a memorable menu of British treats.
Care Home manager Lindsay Donoghue-Flockhart said: “The Queen has a very special place in the heart’s of many of our residents at Garden Hill so it was important to us that we paid tribute to her on her 90th birthday.
The Queen has a very special place in the heart’s of many of our residents.Lindsay Donoghue-Flockhart, Garden Hill Care Home manager
“It’s been a whole-home effort to put together our birthday party.
“Residents created patriotic-themed decorations for our coffee shop, staff and families joined us at the party with some even kindly donating vintage cake stands and tea-sets and our chef and kitchen team outdone themselves with the amazing selection of traditional British tea party foods, cakes and refreshments.
“It was a wonderful and memorable day for all involved.”
The Queen started her big day in style as crowds lined the streets in Windsor as she took part in a walkabout, while royal gun salutes have been fired from each of the UK’s capital cities.
Most of the gun salutes were comprised of 21 shots – the standard royal gun salute – at locations including Hillsborough Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Edinburgh Castle.
In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery staged a 41-gun salute at midday in Hyde Park, while the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 62-gun salute across the Thames from the Tower of London.
The Prince of Wales also got in on the act by recording a special radio broadcast to mark his mother’s birthday, in which he read an edited passage from William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII.
No birthday is complete without a cake and the long-serving monarch was presented with an impressive orange drizzle cake with a butter cream and marmalade filling at the Guildhall by Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain.
Her Majesty also unveiled a plaque marking the Queen’s Walkway – a four-mile trail that links 63 significant points in Windsor – before lighting symbolic beacons in the town.
Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s longest-serving monarch, having worn the crown since February 6 1952.
Prime Minister David Cameron said in a glowing tribute; “As the sands of culture shift and the tides of politics ebb and flow, Her Majesty has been steadfast – a rock of strength for our nation.”
Since she came to power, The Queen has seen an England World Cup win, witnessed man taking its first steps on the moon and watched a host of Prime Ministers pass through the doors of 10 Downing Street.
Celebrations to toast her 90th birthday will continue in the coming months, including a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 10 and a street party for 10,000 strong in the Mall, in St James’ Park, two days later.