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(As it's the Queen's 90th Birthday today)

What is considered a polite way to wish the Queen a happy birthday? Is 'Happy birthday' too informal?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mari-Lou A, Drew, tchrist, curiousdannii, Jacinto Apr 25 '16 at 15:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Dead Mouse, your question isn't really about the English language but about manners and customs. Unless you had an invitation to the Queen's private dinner party (unlikely) you can just say "Happy Birthday" or “Many happy returns” on a card. I'm not sure if texts (sms) counts. – Mari-Lou A Apr 21 '16 at 7:23
  • Many happy returns Ma’am – Mari-Lou A Apr 21 '16 at 7:26
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    @Mari-LouA I agree it's not about the language itself, but I thought it would reasonably fall under 'usage' (I couldn't see any sign on english.stackexchange.com/tour that language-related questions on customs/etiquette were discouraged..?) – topo morto Apr 21 '16 at 7:29
  • I just think it's too easy a question, but that's me. – Mari-Lou A Apr 21 '16 at 7:34
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    You should sing "God Save the Queen" for her. Depending on your political leanings either this version: youtube.com/watch?v=tN9EC3Gy6Nk or this one: youtube.com/watch?v=RvMxqcgBhWQ – deadrat Apr 21 '16 at 7:41
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According to The Palace, there is no official way of communicating happy birthday with the Queen.

The only rule they have is that when first meeting the Queen, you say 'Your Majesty' or 'Your Royal Highness'. From then on, you refer to her as "Ma'am" as in Pam.

So, 'Happy Birthday your Majesty' or 'Happy Birthday, Ma'am' should be more than fine.

  • You forgot "Many happy returns" – Mari-Lou A Apr 21 '16 at 7:25
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    Do you have a reference/link for that advice? – topo morto Apr 21 '16 at 7:36

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