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Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth Has 61st Birthday

Aug. 4, 1961 - Britain's Queen Mother Elizabeth celebrated her 61st birthday today. The King's Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute at noon in Hyde Park to mark the event. Naval ships and shore batteries fired a 21-gun salute. The Queen Mother spent her birthday quietly at the Castle of Mey, her Scottish home. In 1936, the Queen Mother's husband, George VI, unexpectedly became king when his older brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in order to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. During the war, her seemingly indomitable spirit provided moral support to the British public. After the war, her husband's health deteriorated, and she was widowed at the age of 51. After George VI died, she became known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, whose reign began on February 6, 1952.


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