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University members celebrate the Queens 90th birthday at the Patrons lunch

Twelve members of the University and Students' Union were among the crowd of 10,000 guests who braved the rain in London yesterday for a picnic lunch to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday.

The event took place along The Mall in St James's Park which was transformed into its largest ever street party to celebrate the Queen's patronage.

The Queen is Patron of the University and the group joined members of more than 600 charities and organisations from across the UK and around the Commonwealth of which the Queen is also Patron.

The event, which included a picnic hamper containing lunch and afternoon tea for each guest, also featured a carnival-style procession representing each decade of the Queen's reign and a nod to all of the charities and organisations she is Patron of.

Following this, members of the Royal Family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, appeared for a 30 minute walkabout along The Mall to greet guests, before the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh completed a drive-by towards the stage where she made a speech to thank the crowd for their birthday wishes.

The lunch was the culmination of three days of celebrations for the Queen's official birthday, and was organised by the Queen's eldest grandson, Peter Phillips.

Alumni ticket winner Amy Cory said: "It was an honour to represent the University at such a special event. We tried our best not to let the rain dampen our spirits as we were all just excited to be there and to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family. As soon as they came out of Buckingham Palace, the sun followed and the spirit of the crowd lifted even more.

"It was just a really great day - the food was delicious, the parade was fun to watch and it was nice to meet the other representatives from across the University."

The University has a long association with the Queen after receiving its Royal Charter in 1957, providing degree-awarding powers. In 1958, HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited our campus to officially open the Percy Gee Building and they returned again in 2008 to open the state-of-the-art David Wilson Library.

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