Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 96th birthday in private

Cannon fire from the Tower of London and Hyde Park will mark the event and a military band will play ‘Happy Birthday’ for the occasion.

A private party at Sandringham

But the Queen, who crossed the 70-year reign milestone in February, will celebrate the day in a “private manner”, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. He took off on Wednesday in a helicopter to the royal estate of Sandringham, 200 km north of London. According to the British press, she will spend a few days there at Wood Farm, a relatively modest home overlooking the North Sea that her husband Philip, who died last year, loved dearly.

The first months of her “platinum jubilee”, which will lead to four days of much-anticipated festivities in early June, have not been easy for the Queen amid her health problems, the sexual assault allegations against her son Andrew – most recently. made a financial settlement with his accuser – but also questioned the future of the monarchy and the Commonwealth.

rare appearances

Since a brief hospitalization in October, the sovereign’s presence has become exceedingly rare. She still continues to perform “light duties” at Windsor Castle, most of the time by videoconferencing.

However, she did not attend Easter Mass at the Castle Chapel last Sunday. Many of their scheduled shows have been canceled in recent months and sometimes at the last minute. On March 29, however, she insisted on attending a religious ceremony at Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021.

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His son reached Andrew’s arm and, leaning on a cane, we saw him there, weak and dignified, walking slowly, rising several times during the service, and then greeting the participants. But she did not come through the main gate to limit her effort. It was his first major public appearance in months.

The Queen herself admitted in mid-February that she “couldn’t move”, and also showed off her left leg during an audience at Windsor.


According to the British press, she will now use a wheelchair in private, and a customized lift will have been installed at her Scottish residence in Balmoral.

Adding to these problems, as he caught COVID-19 in February, Buckingham Palace again spoke of “mild symptoms”. “It leaves you very tired and exhausted doesn’t it?” This terrible epidemic had recently entrusted the sovereign to the caretakers.

“She is in very good shape,” however, her grandson Harry told NBC on Wednesday after a surprise visit to Windsor Castle last week with his wife Meghan. The couple, now settled in California, had not seen them for two years. He made an appearance in the Netherlands for the Invictus Games.

still very popular queen

Since October, the Queen has largely handed over her son, Prince Charles, 73, to the heir to the crown. But she is far less popular than that – 43% favored against 69% for the Queen – according to an Ipsos poll in March, and much less popular than her son, Prince William, 39 (64%).

42% of Britons would prefer to abandon Charles in favor of Prince William, whose wife Kate is also very popular (60%).

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But William and Kate’s recent visits to the Caribbean, jubilee to celebrate the monarchy’s attachment to the former colonies, have led to sometimes tense confrontations, particularly over the United Kingdom’s slavery past. difficulties ahead.

And Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness considered “inevitable” his country’s transition, a member of the Commonwealth of which the Queen is head, to a republican rule.

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