Inside Queen’s 96th birthday celebrations as family and friends join her for tea party


Housekeepers on the estate have been told the Queen may welcome ‘a small number of guests’ over the weekend who will join her for tea and cake as part of a modest celebration

This new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has been released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark the occasion of her 96th birthday

The Queen turns 96 tomorrow and will celebrate at the weekend with a tea party with family and friends, it can be revealed.

Her Majesty arrived at her Sandrigham estate today in a poignant journey back to Wood Farm, the cottage where her beloved late husband spent much of his time after retiring from royal life in 2017.

The royal couple were then brought back together permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic, living in a special bubble with staff at Windsor Castle until the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the age of 99 last April.

Her Majesty may be joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children but Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are understood to have remained at their Scottish home, Birkhall after Easter.







The Queen with her late husband Prince Philip
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Royal sources said the Queen’s “mini-break” was a “positive step” that she is prepared to make the journey given her ongoing mobility issues, which have recently forced her to miss several high profile public events.

Housekeepers on the estate have been told the Queen may welcome “a small number of guests” over the weekend who will join her for tea and cake as part of a modest celebration.

The main Sandringham House reopened to the public on April 9, following the opening of the gardens for visitors last month.

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 with her horse ‘Highclere’ at Epsom racecourse in 1974
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It comes as organizers of the Royal Windsor Horse Show tonight released a photograph to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

The photograph, taken last month on the grounds of Windsor Castle by Henry Dallal, who was commissioned to take an official portrait of her to mark her 90th birthday.

On the Queen’s left is the pony Bybeck Nightingale and on her right is Bybeck Katie, and both animals will feature in A Gallop through History.

It is the fourth in a series of photos released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, following images released to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, Platinum Jubilee and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.







Queen Elizabeth II enjoying the races at Epsom Derby on June 1, 1988
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The Show, taking place from 12-15 May 2022, was first staged in 1943 and has been attended by The Queen every year since its inception.

Her Majesty has a record number of entries at the 2022 Show, with 41 horses entered to take part.

It has been billed as a “personal tribute to our monarchy” and will feature more than 500 horses and more than a thousand performers taking the audience on a journey from Elizabeth I to the Queen.

Her love for the equine world is something she shared with her mother, and she has been breeding and racing horses for more than 60 years.

Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out of the five flat racing classics – the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger – with only the Derby eluding her.

While in Norfolk the Queen is likely to spend time visiting her Royal Stud and being driven around her 20,000-acre estate, which Philip and more recently Prince Charles, who have taken over its running modernized extensively including developing exclusively organic farming.

The Queen is known to love staying at Wood Farm, a property she said her late husband “loved” and part of its attraction was because the “sea was so close”.







Prince William, Kate and their children may join the Queen to celebrate her birthday
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The Queen commented on the property when she hosted a rare public event at Sandringham on February 5, the eve of her Platinum Jubilee.

Teresa Thompson, 70, the retired housekeeper of Wood Farm, said after chatting to the Queen that day: “All the royal family love Wood Farm, because it’s out of the way, it’s small, It’s intimate. You haven’t got lots of officials and household, it’s just the close staff.

“And they literally can relax in the family house, it’s wonderful, and I had a wonderful 22 years down there, it was the best time of my life without a doubt.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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