New photograph released as Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 96th birthdayComments
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will mark her 96th birthday privately on Thursday at her Sandringham Estate in eastern England.
She is expected to spend the day at the estate's Wood Farm cottage, where she spent her first Christmas after her husband Prince Philip's death in April 2021.
For her birthday on Thursday, the occasion is typically marked by gun salutes in Hyde Park, outside Windsor Castle and the Tower of London.
Public celebrations will be held later in the year for the Queen's platinum jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne.
The celebrations of the longest-serving British monarch will be held over a four-day bank holiday weekend from 2 June to 5 June.
They will include a parade to mark her official birthday, celebrated each year typically on the second Saturday of June.
The Queen has lately made fewer in-person appearances, relying on Prince Charles to take on public engagements, most recently offering alms to senior citizens at the Royal Maundy service at St. George’s Chapel.
Charles took on the traditional task of distributing specially minted coins to pensioners who were being recognised for service to the church and the local community.
This year, 96 men and 96 women received the coins, one for each year of the Queen’s life.