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Queen flies to Sandringham for 96th birthday

The Queen will celebrate her 96th birthday on Thursday (PA)
The Queen will celebrate her 96th birthday on Thursday (PA)

The Queen will celebrate her 96th birthday at her Norfolk estate where she enjoyed family gatherings with the Duke of Edinburgh.

The monarch has flown fly by helicopter from Windsor Castle to her Sandringham home after an eventful Easter break that saw the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit her.

Harry has said his grandmother was “on great form” when they met before he and wife Meghan travelled to Holland for the Invictus Games.

Platinum Jubilee – highs lows
The Queen and the Sussexes, pictured in 2018, had tea together last week (John Stillwell/PA)

But he pointedly added he wanted to make sure she was “protected” and had “the right people around her”, but did not elaborate in the NBC’s Today show interview whether he was referring to palace aides or the royal family.

The Queen has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months and has cancelled appearances at a number of high profile events, but she did attend Philip’s memorial service and has continued carrying out her duties of state and hosting virtual events.

She will celebrate her 96th birthday on Thursday and is likely to be visited by family and friends in the coming days.

It is thought the monarch will stay at the Duke of Edinburgh’s cottage Wood Farm while at Sandringham, a property she said her late husband “loved” and part of its attraction was because the “sea was so close”.

Platinum Jubilee
The Queen has continued working despite recent mobility issues (Chris Jackson/Buckingham Palace/Getty Images/PA)

The Queen commented on the property when she hosted a rare public event at Sandringham on February 5, the eve of her Platinum Jubilee.

Teresa Thompson, 70, the retired housekeeper of Wood Farm, said after chatting to the Queen that day: “All the royal family love Wood Farm, because it’s out of the way, it’s small, It’s intimate. You haven’t got lots of officials and household, it’s just the close staff.

“And they literally can relax in the family house, it’s wonderful, and I had a wonderful 22 years down there, it was the best time of my life without a doubt.”