Queen Elizabeth II an 'inspiration,' Seychelles' president says as queen turns 90
(Seychelles News Agency) - President James Michel of Seychelles has sent wishes of good health, happiness and prosperity to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday as the British Monarch celebrates her 90th birthday.
In his congratulatory message published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michel described Queen Elizabeth as a “longstanding symbol of unity and inspiration.”
And this, Michel said, is “not only to your own subjects but to the wider Commonwealth family and to Seychelles.”
“Throughout your reign you have been an instrument for positive change to which we all aspire,” added Michel.
Seychelles, previously a British colony, gained its independence in June 1976 and will celebrate 40 years of independence in 2016.
The 115-island archipelago in the Indian Ocean is one of the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth, which brings together mostly former British colonies.
Addressing the Queen’s capacity as the Head of the Commonwealth, the Seychellois head of state said “we are thankful for your guidance, wisdom and support in positioning our organization as a relevant vehicle in the 21st century which promotes our common desire for democracy, peace, good governance and sustainable development.”
President Michel, who had an audience with the Queen during a visit to the UK in February 2012, has also highlighted her efforts to strengthen ties between their two countries.
Celebrations took place across the UK on Thursday to celebrate the queen's 90th birthday. Thousands of well-wishers lined the streets in Windsor bearing gifts and flowers.
According to a BBC article, the Queen each year celebrates two birthdays, with her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June.
The monarch came to the British throne in 1953. In September last year she became the longest reigning monarch breaking the record held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.