Her Majesty arrived at her Sandringham estate earlier this week in a poignant journey back to Wood Farm, the cottage where Prince Philip spent much of his time after retiring from royal life in 2017
Image: Terry Harris)
The Queen looked pensive as she visited her beloved Sandringham stables after her 96th birthday celebrations.
Her Majesty arrived at the estate earlier this week in a poignant journey back to Wood Farm, the cottage where her beloved late husband Prince Philip 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.
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.
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.”
It comes as organizers of the Royal Windsor Horse Show released a new photograph to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
The photo was 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.
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.