New portrait celebrates Queen's birthday as she turns 96 in Norfolk

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This new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has been released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark the occasion of her 96th birthday. Queen Elizabeth II holds her Fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale (right) and Bybeck Katie. - Credit: PA

The Queen's 96th birthday today has been marked with the release of a picture showing her indulging her passion for horses and ponies.

The monarch has travelled from Windsor to her Sandringham estate to stay at Wood Farm Cottage, a property loved by her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, for her birthday.

The royal family have wished the Queen a happy 96th birthday and described the monarch as an "inspiration to so many across the UK".

The official Twitter account of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tweeted a picture of William and Kate with the Queen at the Chelsea Flower Show a few years ago and another image of the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh surrounded by their great-grandchildren.

The message read: "Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today!
"An inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, it's particularly special to be celebrating in this #PlatinumJubilee year."

The official Twitter account of the British monarchy also recognised the Queen's milestone with a black and white photograph of the then Princess Elizabeth.

The tribute read: "Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

"Today as The Queen turns 96, we're sharing this photograph of the young Princess Elizabeth aged 2.
"Then, in 1928, it was never expected she would be Queen, and this year Her Majesty is celebrating her #PlatinumJubilee - a first in British history."

The Queen has already received birthday wishes from prime minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, and gun salutes will be fired in her honour.

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This year the Royal Windsor Horse Show will mark the Platinum Jubilee with A Gallop through History, a spectacular equestrian display showcasing horses from across the globe.

The new photograph of the Queen was taken in March in the grounds of Windsor Castle by Henry Dallal, who was commissioned to take an official portrait of her to mark her 90th birthday.

On the Queen's left is the pony Bybeck Nightingale and on her right is Bybeck Katie, and both animals will feature in A Gallop through History.

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Our special tribute for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Cover image Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2022

As Her Majesty celebrates her record-breaking reign we have delved into our archives to create a tribute to her life and 70 years of service. Filled with photos and history, Our Queen's Platinum Reign is a magazine we hope readers will treasure for years to come.

This special souvenir is available to pre-order with £2 off the £9.99 cover price. To find out more, go online to www.gblshop.co.uk/jubilee