The Queen Turns 96 Today
HRH Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 96th birthday today, April 21st 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II is the UK's longest reigning monarch.
Britain's longest-lived monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, will be celebrating her 96th birthday at Sandringham.
HRH travelled by helicopter to the Norfolk estate, where she will be joined by family and friends.
She is expected to stay in a cottage on the estate particularly liked by her late husband, Prince Philip.
A photograph (below) has been released to mark the birthday, showing the Queen with two ponies and reflecting her lifelong interest in horses. The picture was taken at Windsor Castle, where the Queen now mostly stays, and shows her with two Fell ponies, who will appear in the forthcoming Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Queen at Windsor with two Fell ponies.
Prince Harry suggested in a US TV interview that the Queen might be downplaying this latest milestone, saying that "after a certain age you get bored of birthdays".
But she will be spending time at Wood Farm, a cottage described as "small and intimate" by former housekeeper Teresa Thompson, and a place with strong associations with Prince Philip, who died a little over a year ago.
The Queen was in Sandringham earlier this year when she marked her accession to the throne in 1952.
Her Majesty was born in 1926, not in a royal residence as one would assume, but in a London townhouse on Bruton Street, where she first lived with her father and mother, who became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
At the time of her birth nobody knew she was destined to inherit the throne and become Queen. Her Grandfather King George V would reign for another 10-years after her birth until his death in 1936, when her uncle, King Edward VIII became King until his abdication on 11th December that same year thrusting the Queen's father, King George VI on to the throne.
Below: The house on Bruton Street where the Queen was born.
Copyright: Universal History Archive/ Getty Images
Birthday wishes have been sent by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and gun salutes will be fired.
The Queen has had mobility problems in recent months and has had to miss a number of events, including church services over Easter.
Her only public appearance this year, outside of her own residences or on video, was at the Thanksgiving Service for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen's 96th birthday marks another unprecedented age for a British monarch, in a year in which she has become the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on the throne.
The next longest-lived monarchs were Queen Victoria and George III, who lived to the age of 81, and were the only other monarchs to have lived into their 80s.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the Queen is one of about 124,000 people in the 95 to 99 age group in the UK, almost three quarters of these being women.
The Queen as a child, with her family, and as a doll released by Mattel to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee.