Happy 100th, Queen Mum!

London is the place to be this weekend, with Friday’s 100th birthday of the Queen Mother — known, affectionately, as the “Queen Mum.” Since Thursday night, throngs of her admirers braved a British summer rain and chill to take their places along the parade route that took her, escorted by grandson Prince Charles, to her daughter Queen Elizabeth’s residence, Buckingham Palace. “Mum,” looking spry and waving to the crowd, was a vision in powder-puff blue. (For that matter, Charles wore a blue suit, shirt and tie, too.) From the balcony of the Palace, she viewed the nation’s celebration of her, including a 41-gun salute. And from France, President Jacques Chirac sent his regards, paying tribute to the Queen Mum’s “elegant courage” during World War II, when she defied German bombers by remaining in the British capitol throughout the Blitz. “Let me tell you again,” said an admiring Chirac, “my admiration for the exemplary role you played.”

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