Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 88th birthday

Queen Elizabeth II's 88th birthday was marked in the U.K. on Monday with traditional gun salutes and the unveiling of a new portrait.

A 41-gun salute was fired in London's Green Park, as well as a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. Salutes were also fired in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and Wales.

The queen is marking the day privately at Windsor, the BBC reports.

She was born on April 21, 1926, at her maternal grandparents' home in London. The public celebration of her birthday takes place every year in June with the Trooping the Color parade in London.

A new portrait of the queen, by British photographer David Bailey, was also unveiled Sunday ahead of her birthday. The black-and-white photograph, taken at Buckingham Palace, was commissioned on behalf of the government's Great Britain campaign and shows her smiling broadly.

Bailey described his subject as a "very strong woman" with "very kind eyes with a mischievous glint."

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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