Royal fan June Upton is organising a high tea to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.
Royal fan June Upton is organising a high tea to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. Warren Lynam

High time to celebrate Queen’s 90th birthday

THE Sunshine Coast is half a world away from Buckingham Palace but that will not stop local royalists from celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday today.

June Upton, possibly the Coast's most loyal royal follower, has organised a high tea at the Shingle Inn at Sunshine Plaza to commemorate the monarch's special day.

Sixty people will raise fine china cups and dainty cakes to Her Majesty in a prim and proper party which will raise money for Mater Little Miracles.

"I've told people to dress up like it's the Melbourne Cup," Ms Upton said.

Ms Upton has been a fan of the Queen since she was a child.

"I can remember when the Queen got married. Oh, it was like a fairy tale. To hear her speak on the ABC - TV wasn't around - and to get the Women's Weekly with her wedding dress and I thought Prince Phillip was Prince Charming," she said.

"She was like a Cinderella."

Ms Upton said the Queen had done a fine job and she expected her to continue for as long as possible which might mean the throne would skip Charles and pass to Prince William.

"I don't think she'll abdicate. She's too strong and it's her life," she said.

Ms Upton has sent a card to the Queen for her 90th birthday, as she has done on previous special occasions.

She said Buckingham Palace usually acknowledged receipt of the correspondence.

"The last time the Queen was here, I sent her a clipping from the Sunshine Coast Daily and I got a letter back saying the Queen was most thrilled to receive the clipping from the paper and for me to take the time to send it to her. She was 'deeply touched'."

Kuluin retiree and artist Max McDonald has marked the Queen's birthday in the way he knows best - with his paintbrush. Mr McDonald has painted a remarkable portrait of the Queen using a simple magazine photograph as a reference.

He was taught to paint in the style of the masters by Swedish artists brought to Australia to train he and his co-workers early on in his working life at a printing firm

Mr McDonald, who occupies himself playing golf and painting portraits of public figures these days, said the painting was likely to rest in his house although he would like more people to see it, particularly the subject.

"I'd like her to have it."


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