11:11AM, Wednesday 22 April 2015
Cannons were fired along The Long Walk in Windsor Great Park to mark the Queen’s 89th birthday.
Crowds gathered in the sunshine close to the entrance off Brook Street to watch the spectacle.
Twenty-one miniature cannons were lined-up and children were picked from the crowd to light them individually.
Despite their small size, each gun gave a resounding ‘bang’ and clouds of smoke wafted across the park.
“It was fantastic weather,” said Royal Borough Mayor Cllr Richard Kellaway.
“We had lots and lots of families with young children. We had 21 cannons and 18 were lit by little ones.”
With help, each child used a flame to light the fuse before standing back and waiting for the cannon to go off.
Cllr Kellaway said people had come from all over the place to see the event and some stayed to have a picnic afterwards.
“One likes to think the Queen is listening,” he said.
“It is a lovely, unique tradition and great fun was had by all.”
He added that according to bombardier John Matthews, some of the cannons are very old and six of them were taken from a French ship.
The Hill family had travelled from Devon to visit the town and mum Julia said they were also celebrating her mother’s birthday. Her children, Matthew, seven, Simeon, 12, and Ben, 10, got to fire cannons.
Also chosen to fire a cannon was four-year-old Alfie from Staines, who dressed as a soldier for the occasion.
Alfie’s mum, Sarah Blatchford, said they had watched the soldiers march between the barracks and Windsor Castle earlier that day.
“He absolutely loves soldiers and when he was chosen, mummy was very proud,” she said.
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