A cliff-top beacon has lit up against the Sunderland sky and Penshaw Monument shines spectacular in red, white and blue as the city wishes the Queen a happy 90th birthday this evening.
Crowds gathered to witness the special ceremony, which took place at Cliffe Park, Seaburn.
The lighting was carried out by Sunderland Mayor, Coun Barry Curran, and the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield.
Coun Curran said: “This country has for many, many years been lighting beacons to mark and celebrate royal occasions.
“It’s a long tradition and the 90th birthday of our monarch is no exception.”
Meanwhile, there were parties held across the city to mark the special occasion.
Children at Busy Bees nursery, in Glanville Road, celebrated in royal robes, fit for a Queen.
Nursery staff and children in the Rainbow Room – for those aged two to three – wore their smartest dress before eating a traditional English lunch and enjoying a royal afternoon tea, of traditional-flavoured sandwiches and much more.
They also took part in a number of other activities, and Laura Simpson – one of the qualified early years educators in the Rainbow Room, said: “We decided to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, because as a nursery we promote British values in our daily play.
“We completed a variety of activities, including making our own place mats, designing a card for her Majesty and making our own crowns, so we could all be Kings and Queens for the day.
“All the children in the Rainbow Room would like to say a big happy birthday to her Majesty the Queen on such a special milestone.”
Children at Redby Primary Academy, on Fullwell Road, also joined in the celebrations by holding a “Queam Tea” with pensioners in the community. There was afternoon tea, dancing and a pianist.
Deputy headteacher Jill Carroll, who worked jointly with headteacher Melanie Wight to plan and organise the event, said: “It was a cream tea for elderly members of the community. We are normally geared towards children, but we tried to strengthen our relationship with another group.
“We also had lots of elderly relations of our children, while we had a piano player performing and the children did a little presentation about the Queen.
“The atmosphere was buzzing and it was rewarding to see.”
The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday by greeting well-wishers outside Windsor Castle.
Hundreds cheered as she stepped from her car and her arrival was marked by a rendition of happy birthday by the Band of the Coldstream Guards.