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Thu, Jun 03, 2004 - Page 14 News List

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 78th birthday on June 3

By Liz Clark  /  London Press Service

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 78th birthday on 21 April. Despite attaining an age at which most people relax, having reached retirement, the Queen remains busy with appointments - including her weekly meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair - at her official residence, Londons Buckingham Palace, as well as undertaking official engagements in various parts of the United Kingdom.

Many of these involve some of the 700 organisations of which the Queen is Patron or President. In 2003, she carried out around 478 engagements in the UK and overseas.

This year could be similarly busy. During February, for example, her schedule included engagements in the eastern England county of Norfolk, such as opening the new Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, as well as the Norwich Archive Centre. Together with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen also visited the university city of Oxford, and travelled to the south-west of the country to carry out an inspection of HMS Lancaster at Portsmouth Naval base.

The lives and work of women in the United Kingdom were the focus of a number of events in March. For example, the Queen, accompanied by her daughter The Princess Royal, who is Patron of Women's Education in Building (WEB), visited a work placement scheme in East London. WEB is a charitable organisation that trains women, especially those whose circumstances make employment difficult, in the construction and building trades. On a later date the Queen hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for women of achievement, who came from the worlds of politics, business, industry, law, the arts, and culture.

The Queen and Prince Philip continue to carry out state visits. The first of 2004 was in early April, when they went to France for three days.

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