Ritz party for Queen's belated 80th birthday
The Queen will tonight host a belated party at the Ritz Hotel for her closest friends and courtiers to mark her 80th birthday last April. The hotel was booked two years ago for the gathering which will include Prince Philip, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra, who is the Queen's favourite cousin. Around 50 people are expected to attend the party at the hotel, which is celebrating its centenary, and has been dubbed the Queen's "local" by Buckingham Palace officials. Former King Constantine of Greece, who lives in exile in London, is on the guest list along with some of the Queen's oldest friends such as Margaret Rhodes who was a lady-in-waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. However, there will be no Prince William or Kate Middleton, his long-standing girlfriend, dashing days of speculation that their engagement would be announced at the party.