"Warm congratulations to Queen Elizabeth II and the people of the United Kingdom" for Official Birthday...
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates two birthdays each year: Her actual birthday on 21 April and her Official Birthday on a Saturday in June. Today is The Queen's Official Birthday for 2011 (she is 85), and President Obama sent Her Majesty a birthday greeting of "best wishes" and "warm congratulations" to note the occasion, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The message hails the special relationship between the US and the UK, and The Queen's "extraordinary service" to her country and the globe. The Queen and members of the Royal Family celebrated in London today with the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade, as well as gun salutes and a flyover of Buckingham Palace. (Top: The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, review cavalry troops during the parade; inset is President Obama and the Queen during last month's State Banquet in his honor)
"On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to Queen Elizabeth II and our friends in the United Kingdom as you mark Her Majesty’s Official Birthday this June 11," Clinton said. "This occasion provides an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the Queen’s dedicated leadership and to celebrate -- as President Obama did on his recent State Visit -- her extraordinary service to her nation and to the world."
The President made a State Visit to Her Majesty in May, and among other formal events, it included a State Banquet held by The Queen at Buckingham Palace in President Obama's honor, and a Return State Dinner for Her Majesty, hosted by The President and Mrs. Obama. President Obama also made a historic address to Parliament during his visit.
"The United States is committed to the enduring relationship between our two countries and we value the contributions by Her Majesty in strengthening it. Our unique alliance is founded on our common history and thrives today through our shared ideals of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. United by NATO, the world’s largest foreign direct investment relationship and a long history of kinship, our two nations work in concert promoting peace and prosperity throughout the world," Clinton said in the birthday greeting. (Above: The Queen and the Royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the parade)
"On this special day, I send warm congratulations to Queen Elizabeth II and the people of the United Kingdom. The United States is committed to fostering and strengthening the bonds of friendship between our nations and peoples for years to come," Clinton said.
*Top photo by Getty, second by The British Monarchy; third by Getty