Queen back at Windsor after birthday break

·2-min read

The Queen has returned to Windsor after her birthday break on the Sandringham estate.

The monarch flew back to her Berkshire castle by helicopter on Wednesday after spending a week at her Norfolk retreat, where she celebrated turning 96 last Thursday.

She is thought to have stayed at the late Duke of Edinburgh’s Wood Farm, a cottage nestled in the far reaches of the country estate.

Princess Eugenie wedding
The Queen is believed to have stayed in her late husband’s cottage, Wood Farm (Alastair Grant/PA)

Philip spent much of his retirement at the property before moving to Windsor during lockdown.

The Queen has told how her late husband “loved” the cottage and part of its attraction was because the “sea was so close”.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the Queen has arrived back at her main home.

A spokesman said she is hoping to attend the State Opening of Parliament in less than two weeks’ time, on May 10, but confirmation is expected closer to the time or on the day.

The Queen, who has experienced mobility issues in recent months, has opened Parliament on all but two occasions during her reign.

The exceptions were in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and then Prince Edward, when her speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.

Queen’s speech 2021
The Queen in the House of Lords during the 2021 State Opening of Parliament (Chris Jackson/PA)

In just over a month’s time, the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend will get under way, celebrating the nation’s longest reigning head of state’s 70 years on the throne.

Festivities include Trooping the Colour, beacon lighting, a service of thanksgiving, the Epsom Derby, a pop concert at Buckingham Palace, and a spectacular Jubilee Pageant on the streets of London.

It has not yet been confirmed how many of the high-profile events the Queen will be able to attend.