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Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 85th birthday

The Queen arrives to officially name Cunard's newest cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, Southampton October 11, 2010. (facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy)

April 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
England's royal family may be preparing for a special wedding next week, but they have a birthday to celebrate first.

Queen Elizabeth II turns 85 years old on Thursday. The queen was born in 1926 to the future King George VI and Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

She took the throne in 1953 after her father's death.

The queen has four children and eight grandchildren, including Prince William who will marry Kate Middleton on April 29.

The queen's son Prince Charles marked a milestone of his own. The prince has now set the record for spending more time than anyone else as heir to the British throne.

The 62-year-old prince has been next in line for 59 years, two months and 15 days. That surpasses the previous record set by King Edward VII, who succeeded Queen Victoria.

ABC7 anchors David Ono and Michelle Tuzee are traveling to London for the royal wedding. Look for their live reports beginning next week on Eyewitness News.