The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrived together.
They were welcomed by the Chapter, the Bishop of London, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
It's a very special day for the Royal family - not only with the official celebrations of Her Majesty's landmark 90th taking place - but today is also Prince Philip's 95th birthday (sending him many happy returns). The day will pass off with little fanfare, in accordance with his wishes, and I imagine the family will enjoy a private get-together to mark the event. Seeing our monarch and her consort arriving at St Paul's, at 90 and 95 respectively, their stamina, dedication and ceaseless sense of duty, is nothing short of extraordinary. Unusually, a temporary rail was installed to help the couple negotiate the steep steps - a rare sign of their advancing years.
An overview from St Paul's.
There was an enormous turn out from the immediate and extended members of the royal family with the Daily Express estimating 53 members in attendance.
The youngest was James, Viscount Severn, who is 8. He's the son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Below we see Sophie and Lady Louise.
Princess Eugenie arriving.
A smiling Princess Anne.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
St Paul's Cathedral is one of the most famous and recognisable sights of London, with its dome, framed by the spires of Wren's City churches, dominating the skyline for 300 years. It was an excellent choice of venue for the service.
The service, which was broadcast live on BBC, included a host of high-profile guests including Prime Minister David Cameron and new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The royals were all smiles as they greeted other members of the family. An enormous amount of planning and consideration went into choosing hymns and readings for the service. The opening hymn, 'O Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness', is sung at Epiphany, recalling the Queen’s strong sense of Christian faith and her ‘humble devotion to Christ’. According to St Paul’s a subsequent hymn, 'Lead Us Heavenly Father Lead Us', is set to a German tune, ‘reminding us of the Queen’s ancestry’.
Information on the service from the Mail Online:
'The service includes three musical ‘birthday gifts’ for the Queen, the first being the anthem, 'I love all beauteous things', written by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, which sets a poem by Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate in the year of the monarch’s birth, to music.
Former BBC Young Musician of the Year, Martin James Bartlett, will perform 'Burlesque' by Arnold Bax, who was George VI’s last Master of the King’s Music. The Queen also learnt to play the piano as a child. Prayers will be read by six people, five of whom represent aspects of the Queen’s life and role.
As well as Clare Balding, whose family has trained some of the Queen’s own horses, there will be a member of her household, a trainee barrister representing the law and a member of the armed forces.
Baroness Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth will offer another, while Hilda Price from Cardiff, the widow of an Anglican priest and a leading light in the Mother’s Union, will offer another. Mrs Price was born on the same day as the Queen – 21 April 1926. According to Mrs Price’s daughter, Mary, her mother was given the middle name Alexandra in honour of the Queen – christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.'
Much-loved broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, who celebrated his own 90th birthday last month, gave a reading reflecting on passing years from the perspective of one born in 1926. It was written by nonagenarian Michael Bond, who created Paddington Bear.
It can be viewed on the Royal family's twitter account.
Michael Bond's wonderfully humorous account of life's trials and tribulations, read by Sir David Attenboroughhttps://t.co/zZS9Fqvbkd— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 10, 2016
Whilst the service is very much in honour of the Queen, I thought it a lovely touch to include a prayer for the Duke of Edinburgh:
God our King,
we give you thanks for the ninetieth birthday of Elizabeth our Queen,
sustain and strengthen her
that her reign may continue to bless us all.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
God our Strength,
we give you thanks for the support of others,
bless Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
that this birthday may be a day of joy.
Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.
The order of service can be viewed in its entirety here.
|St Paul's Cathedral|
The Duchess curtsies to The Queen after the service.
The royals leaving the church.
After the service, William, Kate and Harry joined guests at the Guildhall for lunch.
The royal party take their seats.
Below, Princess Anne, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, the Duke of York and Prince Harry.
The royals listened as the Lord Mayor of London paid tribute to Her Majesty.
Kate discussed Princess Charlotte's "feisty side" with guests.
More from the Daily Express story:
Mrs Double said afterwards: “The Duchess was saying how happy she was to be here and how lovely the service was.
As a mum myself I asked her about her children and said what a pretty little thing we all thought Princess Charlotte was. She said: 'Oh she is very cute but she has got quite a feisty side. I then asked her about George and she said he was a really lovely little boy. She said she hopes that George will keep Charlotte in order.
Mrs Double said she had no idea the Duchess and other royals would be mingling with guests and it had been a real honour to speak to her. She said: ”It was such a surprise to be introduced to her and she was just lovely - and very, very beautiful. She kept on asking if we had enough to eat - and I told her we hadn't stopped since we arrived! As my husband has been involved in organising the event I really couldn't be prouder. What a fabulous day.”
Prince William chatting with guests.
Harry told guests the Queen "should really be putting her feet up" but wanted to be there for the people. He added the best birthday present she could get would be "a day off so she could lie about and do nothing".
The Duchess wore a bespoke, mist blue, wool crepe coat dress with white lace embellishment all the way down the front by Catherine Walker.
The coat has a very fresh, summery feel to it, and was a perfect choice for the occasion. What Kate Wore and Perth Fashion noted the garment encompasses elements from Rosa and Melrose styles by the designer.
A closer look at the white lace appliqué.
Several readers noted similarities between Kate's coat dress and Catherine Walker designs Carole Middleton has worn to events including the royal wedding.
Kate teamed the coat dress with the pretty cream Jane Taylor hat she wore to Princess Charlotte's christening.
This photo offers a closer look at Kate's updo today.
Kate accessorised with her unidentified aquamarine earrings and a new pendant.
Kate wore her new suede pumps.
The pumps are by Gianvito Rossi. It is thought they are the pair shown below in antique-rose suede (or a very similar shade, the shoes come in an abundance of colours). They retail for £450 at Net-A-Porter.
And carried her L.K. Bennett Nina Clutch.
You can watch a video at YouTube.
We'll see you tomorrow for Trooping The Colour. Perhaps George and Charlotte will make a surprise appearance :)