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Her Majesty the Queen's 80th birthday on 21 April

18 April 2006

Her Majesty the Queen's 80th birthday on 21 April

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that a letter had been sent on behalf of the people of New Zealand to Her Majesty the Queen, offering best wishes for her 80th birthday on Friday 21 April 2006.

"I extended warmest best wishes and greetings, and congratulated the Queen on her milestone birthday," Helen Clark said

"I also expressed the hope of the government and people of New Zealand that the Queen will continue to enjoy good health for many years to come.

"Buckingham Palace has indicated the Queen will largely mark the event in private with family, although she will host a garden party for other people who also turn 80 on April 21st.

"New Zealand Post and the Reserve Bank will officially mark the event in this country with a special postage stamp and commemorative coins.

"The Governor General will also communicate her best wishes for the event. A special event to celebrate the birthday will be held at Government House Wellington on Friday 21 April.

"At 10.30 am on Friday people of all ages will assemble on the front lawn of Government House to form the numeral "80", there will be a special message read out, a haka will be performed, and there will be an Air Force fly-by."

Helen Clark noted that the Queen is only the third monarch to celebrate an 80th birthday, after Queen Victoria in 1899 and George III in 1818.

ENDS

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