‘Tea and cake!’ Queen to welcome ‘small number of guests’ for birthday bash

Queen’s 96th birthday celebrated with release of new photograph

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The Queen is spending her 96th birthday on her beloved Sandringham estate, where she was helicoptered from Windsor Castle on Wednesday. Her Majesty, who is believed to be staying at Wood Farm, will spend today privately, while her close relatives including Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Princess Anne are carrying out engagements up and down the country.

However, the Queen’s housekeepers have been told the sovereign may welcome “a small number of guests” over the weekend, the Mirror wrote.

The monarch is reportedly hosting a small gathering featuring tea and cake.

Among those tipped to attend there are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Kate and William’s attendance at this modest celebration is likely, as they often spend their weekends and short breaks at Anmer Hall, their countryside home on the Sandringham estate gifted to them by the Queen. 

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Royal sources have spoken of the Queen’s decision to take a “mini-break” from royal work away from Windsor Castle as a “positive step”, in light of the mobility issues she has been reportedly experiencing over the past few months.

Moreover, her decision to head to Wood Farm is particularly significant, as the five-bedroom cottage became Prince Philip’s main residence between the summer of 2017, when he retired from public duties, and the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, when he decided to self-isolate at Windsor Castle with Her Majesty.

One royal source said: “The Queen is taking a well-earned break and will mark her birthday very modestly this year.

“She feels very at home at Wood Farm and close to her beloved husband and it’s wonderful she was able to travel to enjoy the getaway.” 

The Queen was last in Sandringham in February, when she marked the beginning of her Platinum Jubilee.

On the eve of the anniversary of her accession to the throne, the monarch hosted a reception for local charities at Sandringham House.

Her Majesty is believed to have spent also that break at Wood Farm.

The monarch is the first-ever British sovereign to have sat on the throne for seven decades. 

Buckingham Palace publicly marked the Queen’s 96th birthday by releasing a new picture, taken last month by photographer Henry Dallal.

Mr Dallal had previously taken pictures of the Queen in the company of her horses also to mark her 90th birthday and her Diamond Jubilee.

In the snap, the monarch can be seen standing between her two adored Fell ponies.

These ponies are set to take part in this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show, which will host a special event for the Platinum Jubilee.

More than 500 horses and 1000 performers will take part in May in the show A Gallop Through History on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The performance will showcase horses across the world and take the audience on a historical journey going from the first Elizabethan age to the modern days.

Kate and Prince William as well as Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, shared tributes on Twitter to mark the Queen’s birthday.

Accompanying their message with two pictures, the Kensington Palace’s social media account tweeted: “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today!

“An inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, it’s particularly special to be celebrating in this #PlatinumJubilee year.”

Charles and Camilla’s Twitter account also highlighted this birthday is particularly important, as it falls on the Queen’s historic 70th year on the throne.

Their message read: “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a particularly special 96th birthday today, as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee year.”

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