he Queen has heard what is likely to be the first of many renditions of Happy Birthday after carrying out two engagements ahead of her 90th birthday.
Her Majesty was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers in Alexandra Gardens, near Windsor Castle, where she opened a new bandstand.
The monarch met school children who were involved in its decoration before they sang a number of songs, including When I’m 64 and Happy Birthday, accompanied by the Band of the Irish Guards.
The bandstand was designed in recognition of the long-standing links between the Queen, the Armed Forces and Windsor, and to mark her record as the nation’s longest-reigning monarch.
Her birthday is not until Thursday when she will become the country’s first nonagenarian sovereign.
Earlier the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visited a Royal Mail delivery office to commemorate the anniversary of another British institution – the postal service.
She was given a given a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday there by staff and jokingly suggested that she may have added to their post bags.
Five hundred years ago, in 1516, Henry VIII knighted Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts – a move that was the catalyst for the creation of the Royal Mail we know today.
Windsor delivery office manager Andy Roeton said: “There’s a lot of excitement here – we’re celebrating 500 years of the postal service, it’s the eve of the Queen’s birthday and this month I celebrate 25 years with Royal Mail.”
He said of the royal visit: “I think for the staff it’s recognition of the great work they do and the majority of them live in the local area – and this is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.”
A series of 10 Royal Mail postage stamps marking the monarch’s birthday was unveiled to coincide with the visit – with Prince George featuring on a stamp for the first time.