Queen Elizabeth Rang In Her 96th Birthday... Well, Like A Queen

Queen Elizabeth's 96th Birthday
Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II is ringing in her 96th birthday on Thursday, but don’t expect too much fanfare from the royal family this year. Instead of remaining in Buckingham Palace for her big day, the Queen is celebrating in the comfort of the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, about 110 miles north of London. The monarch made the three hour trip on the eve of her birthday, and according to reports, she isn’t even staying in the main house, but a smaller residence know as Wood Farm, where her late husband Prince Philip spent many of his last days.

There, People reports the Queen will be spending her birthday privately, though it seems like she may have some company of the hoofed variety. Ahead of her birthday, The Royal Family Twitter account shared a photo of her majesty with two of her fell ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale. The picture, shared on Wednesday, shows the Queen standing in between the two white horses, looking very pleased as she holds onto their reigns. She herself blends into the nature surrounding her in a dark green caped wool coat. The choice of outerwear could be another homage to Philip, as the official color of his livery was “Edinburgh Green,” and many members of the royal family wore the hue to the late Prince’s memorial service just last month.

But the photo with the horses wasn’t the only one shared by the royals’ official Twitter account in honor of the big day. They also posted a photo of the Queen at just two years old in 1928, looking absolutely adorable with a head full of curls and her cheeks perched in her hands.

Elizabeth’s family joined in on the social media celebration as well. The Twitter account for Prince William and Kate Middleton shared some photos, including one of the Queen, Philip, and seven of their great-grandchildren. Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle, have yet to share anything publicly, but the pair did just visit the Queen ahead of a trip to Netherlands for the Invictus Games earlier this month. They also have plans to return to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee in June. If the Queen’s birthday wish was for her family to be reunited after years of estrangement, it may just come true.