Elizabeth 90

Elizabeth 90

Today marks Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday and this little stroll takes in some places that have been named in her honour. Born 21 April 1926 Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, she was never expected to queen, her uncle Edward was next in line to the throne but when he abdicated in 1936 her father Albert (George VI) became king and she the heir.

Since her accession in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and Head of the Commonwealth. She is also Queen of 12 countries that have become independent since her accession: Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The Queen has celebrated her Silver (1977), Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) Jubilees. In December 2007 she surpassed her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-living British monarch and, on 9 September 2015, became the longest-reigning British monarch.

So, back to the walk, starting at the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. This quadrangle surrounds the reading room of the British Museum and is currently the largest covered square in Europe. Opened by the Queen in 2000, it was redeveloped to a design by Foster and Partners from an early design by Colin St John Wilson. The tessellated glass roof was designed by Buro Happold and executed by Waagner-Biro.

Over the Thames and you will find The Queen's Walk, a promenade on the South Bank linking Lambeth Bridge and Tower Bridge. It is an integral part of the Jubilee Walkway which was created to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and is recognised as a foundation for establishing the Thames Path National Trail through London. Along the South Bank you will find the Queen Elizabeth Hall, a music venue which is part of the Southbank Centre arts complex, the Golden Jubilee Bridges, which flank the Hungerford Bridge, and the Jubilee Gardens, created for the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

Back across the Thames and up through the City of Westminster you'll find the Queen's Gallery, at Buckingham Palace which, exhibits works of art from the Royal Collection. The nearby Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre is owned by the Government and specialises in events between 40 and 1300 delegates. It was designed by Powell Moya & Partners and was opened by the Queen in 1986. On the other side of Parliament Square is the Palace of Westminster and what was previously known as the Clock Tower, generally known as Big Ben after the nickname for the Great Bell, which was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Jumping on the tube at Westminster you can get on the Jubliee line which opened in 1979. The silver/grey colour on the tube map and the name both mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee after which the line was named. Alighting at Stratford and a wander through Westfield Stratford City brings you to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the sporting complex built for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Originally simply known as the Olympic Park it was later renamed to commerate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Distance: around 6 miles (walking).

St. George

St. George

Don't Bin Those Bananas!

Don't Bin Those Bananas!