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British Embassy fetes Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday with VIP guests

From left, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Vanessa Darroch, British ambassador Kim Darroch and British Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood raise a toast to the queen. (Carrie Dorean Photography)

Of course, there’s nothing on American shores to compare with the elaborate celebrations going on across the pond in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. But the British Embassy still did its part on Wednesday night, throwing a birthday party fit for royalty.

Under tents on the rose-lined lawn of the opulent ambassador’s residence, what seemed like every Brit in the city — plus a smattering of VIP guests — nibbled on crustless cucumber sandwiches, Stilton cheese, and strawberries and cream. Pimm’s was the drink of choice.

Those enjoying the balmy evening and the British treats included Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Education Secretray John King, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, singer Carole King (her connection: She’s pals with former U.S. ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Bagley, who was also a guest), former senator John Warner (R-Va.), White House social secretary Deesha Dyer, Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), and Melanne Verveer, the head of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and a Hillary Clinton confidante.

Of course, HM herself wasn’t there to dig into the giant Union Jack-bedecked cake created for her. But her presence was felt in the form of giant photos of her meetings with American presidents, from Harry Truman to Obama.

And when British Ambassador Kim Darroch invited Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to make a toast, the judge simply evoked the woman of the evening as he hoisted a champagne flute: “To the queen!”