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IN PHOTOS: Queen Elizabeth II and family mark 90th birthday with parade

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The Queen celebrates 90th birthday
WATCH: Thousands of people turned out watch the annual Trooping the Colour parade on the Queen's official 90th birthday. Jeff Semple reports – Jun 11, 2016

LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II and her family marked her official 90th birthday Saturday with a parade, a colourful military ceremony and an appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

It was a day for continuity, patriotism and pride. Flag-waving throngs crowded into the spacious Mall in front of the palace to honour the longest reigning monarch in British history.

Prince William and his wife Kate’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, age 1, delighted the crowd by making her first appearance on the balcony, standing alongside the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, who turned 95 on Friday.

Britain\’s Queen Elizabeth II, right, with Prince William holding Prince George, centre, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, left, on the balcony during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London, Saturday, June 11, 2016.
Britain\’s Queen Elizabeth II, right, with Prince William holding Prince George, centre, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, left, on the balcony during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London, Saturday, June 11, 2016. AP Photo/Tim Ireland

The queen, wearing a lime green outfit visible from the far points of the crowded Mall, travelled by horse-drawn carriage, sometimes waving to the throng.

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“She looked lovely,” said Joanne Forster, who along with her husband had scheduled a week’s visit from Northamptonshire so she could come to the birthday parade.

WATCH: Princess Charlotte made her royal debut on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Saturday, during Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday celebrations in London.

Click to play video: 'Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 90th birthday'
Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 90th birthday

“She’s our queen and she makes us very proud. We love her. She’s done her job, 100 per cent, for the Commonwealth, for the British people. She just goes on and on and on. I don’t think she’ll ever retire.”

The goodwill and excitement were palpable as the queen’s carriage approached the palace, her imminent arrival announced by a military band on horseback. The parade route in the heart of ceremonial London was lined with people as far as the eye could see.

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Britain\’s Queen Elizabeth II rides in a carriage during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London, Saturday, June 11, 2016.
Britain\’s Queen Elizabeth II rides in a carriage during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London, Saturday, June 11, 2016. AP Photo/Tim Ireland

Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and his son Prince William rode down the Mall on horseback along with Princess Anne, the queen’s daughter, a skilled equestrian.

Britain’s Prince William, centre, rides a horse, during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London, Saturday, June 11, 2016, with Prince Charles, left, and Princess Anne the Princess Royal, right. (). AP Photo/Tim Ireland

The splendid Trooping the Colour parade, which featured more than 1,500 soldiers and officers, also included a fly-by of historic World War II aircraft and modern fighter planes.

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The rip-roaring aerial display was a main draw for William Ross, an Army veteran. But he wanted to pay his respects to the queen as well.

Members of the British Royal family stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in front of spectators to watch a fly-past of aircrafts by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 11, 2016. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

“I was a soldier for the queen for 22 years,” said Ross, 71. “I think she’s done a very good job. She’s had lots of trial and tribulations. She’s like a battleship. She just sails on.”

The crowd cheered as the queen emerged on the balcony, scene of many national celebrations in the past. William and his wife Kate were joined by Charlotte — in Kate’s arms — and toddler Prince George, nearly 3, who stood on his own.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George and Prince William watch the flypast from the balcony of Buckingaham PalaceTrooping The Colour – The Queen’s Birthday Parade, London, UK – 11 Jun 2016. Photo by DAVID HARTLEY/REX/Shutterstock

“I love everything about England,” said Alicia Farrugia, who was waving a large “God Save the Queen” banner above her head.

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“I love the history, the rule of law. My grandfather used to bring me here as a child, starting when I was 3-years old. I followed it through with my own children. Today I’ve come on my own. I just feel I have to be here. It’s history in the making. It’s so good for the country. It’s something deep in my heart.”

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II rides in a carriage along the Mall during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London, Saturday, June 11, 2016. (). AP Photo/Tim Ireland

The birthday festivities continue Sunday with a gigantic luncheon in front of the palace. The palace has invited roughly 10,000 people who work at charities supported by the queen to the open air festivities.

Members of The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry perform on Horse Guards Parade during the Queen’s Birthday Parade, ‘Trooping the Colour’, in London on June 11, 2016.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Street parties will also be held in many towns and cities throughout Britain and in other Commonwealth countries.

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The queen’s real birthday is in April. The official birthday is timed in hope of fair weather — a custom that began in the 18th century.

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth II turned 90 years old in April, but tradition allows British monarchs to pick another date for public celebrations. Over three days, millions of people are expected to join in festivities. But as Jeff Semple reports, it isn’t the only royal milestone.

Click to play video: 'Three days of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday'
Three days of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday

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