Queen begins birthday celebrations on somber note

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The 91st birthday celebration of Queen Elizabeth was nearly marred after a guardsman fainted during hot conditions at a parade to honour the British Monarch.

"During her reign, The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour every year except 1955 when it was cancelled because of the National Rail Strike".

The Queen, 91, marked her official birthday today with the pomp and pageantry of the famous event - but also acknowledged the "succession of bad tragedies" in recent weeks.

All followers of the royal family know the most exciting part about this event is when the family gathers on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to see the Royal Air Force fly past.

The Trooping of the Colour has been performed since 1748 to celebrate the official birthday of the British sovereign.

She yesterday visited west London after a deadly fire claimed the lives of at least 30 people at Grenfell Tower in Kensington.

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Happy birthday, Queen Elizabeth II! William's wife Kate and Charles' wife Camilla were in a carriage with Prince Harry. Trooping the Colour is the only guaranteed annual appearance of the whole group - and it always proves to be a fun spectacle.

She said it was "difficult to escape a very sombre mood" in a message released on her official birthday.

Noting the country had "witnessed a succession of awful tragedies", she called for the nation "to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events".

"This year however it is hard to escape a very sombre national mood ...", she wrote.

"As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events", the Queen continued.

Elizabeth said that during recent visits to meet victims she had been struck by the inclination of people to offer comfort and support.

"Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity".

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