CULTURE

Birthday party in Athens for Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th

Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, but, practical woman that she is, chooses to have the official birthday celebrations on June 17 when the weather is warmer. Elizabeth ascended to the British throne in 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. Since then, 10 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Tony Blair, have been sworn in by her. A tireless traveler, she has made 256 official visits to various countries. For her 80th birthday, Lord Snowdon, the former husband of Elizabeth’s sister, the late Princess Margaret, photographed the queen smiling like any other mother and grandmother. There will be a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 15. The queen has already held a dinner for 100 guests, all of whom celebrated their own 80th birthday on the same day as the British monarch. British Ambassador in Athens Simon Gass and his wife Marianne are to hold a party on Wednesday at the embassy residence, where guests will be entertained by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.