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Queen plans ‘unfussy’ 96th birthday in peace and quiet of Prince Philip’s farmhouse at Sandringham

Queen plans ‘unfussy’ 96th birthday celebration in the peace and quiet of Prince Philip’s farmhouse at Sandringham… as new photo shows Her Majesty relaxing with her favorite ponies

  • The Queen has arrived at Wood Farm in Norfolk ahead of her birthday tomorrow
  • She is expected to celebrate her 96th birthday there in typically ‘unfussy’ style
  • The monarch will be visited by friends and family at the Sandringham farmhouse
  • It had been the retirement home of her husband Prince Philip before his passing

Happily ensconced in her beloved Sandringham estate, the Queen will celebrate her 96th birthday tomorrow in typically ‘unfussy’ style.

Today the monarch arrived at Wood Farm – the Norfolk farmhouse that Prince Philip made his retirement home – where it is expected she will be visited by friends and family over the next few days.

And to mark the occasion, a glorious photograph has been released of her standing with two of her own favorite fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie.

The Queen was seen arriving at Wood Farm near Sandringham where she is expected to stay for her 96th birthday tomorrow

The Queen was seen arriving at Wood Farm near Sandringham where she is expected to stay for her 96th birthday tomorrow

The monarch is expected to receive visits from friends and family over the coming days at the estate

The monarch is expected to receive visits from friends and family over the coming days at the estate

Taken in the grounds of Windsor Castle in front of a spectacular magnolia tree last month, the picture – seen on today’s front page – was released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which the Queen has attended every year since its inception in 1943.

The show will put on a Platinum Jubilee extravaganza featuring more than 500 horses and 1,000 performers. ‘It is an event she holds great affection for,’ a source said.

Although she has not been able to ride for several months, the Queen has ridden horses since the age of three and is passionate about everything equestrian.

The Norfolk residence is where Prince Philip, pictured here with the Queen, made his retirement home before his passing last year

The Norfolk residence is where Prince Philip, pictured here with the Queen, made his retirement home before his passing last year

So it will come as a relief that, 93 years after her first ride, the Mail can reveal that plans are being put in place to ensure she will be able to cheer on her horses from the royal box at the Platinum Jubilee Epsom Derby in Surrey – and perhaps bag the win that has so far eluded her.

The Queen has been suffering increasing mobility issues, and royal aides have indicated she cannot yet commit to any of the events planned to mark her 70 historic years on the throne.

But it is understood staff are ‘moving heaven and Earth’ to ensure she can attend the most prestigious race meet of the year.

This includes changing the route of her official car so that it can pull up directly outside the Queen’s stand, leaving a short walk of a few yards to the lift straight up to her seat.

A source said the monarch ‘really is absolutely determined to attend’.

The Derby on Saturday, June 4 is one of the official national celebrations over the four-day jubilee weekend and one that has a particular personal significance for the Queen.

The race is the only one of the five ‘Classics’ she is yet to win, having finished second with Aureole in 1953 – just four days after her Coronation.

The Queen, pictured here with her favorite fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale (right) and Bybeck Katie (left), is expected to have friends and family visit her over the next few days

The Queen, pictured here with her favorite fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale (right) and Bybeck Katie (left), is expected to have friends and family visit her over the next few days

The Queen, who is patron of The Jockey Club, has had more than 1,800 winners globally.

Legendary royal jockey Willie Carson, 79, said it would be a ‘fairytale’ for her to finally win the Derby.

‘You never know, him upstairs might just think it’s about time she had a Derby winner,’ he said during an interview at Epsom racecourse this week.

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