Queen in "sparkling form" as she cuts cake and chats with guests at Sandringham on eve of 70th anniversary of her reign

The Queen was on "sparkling" form as she met with villagers from Sandringham on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her reign.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the start of the Platinum Jubilee during a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House. The Queen came to the throne 70 years ago this Sunday when, on February 6 1952, the ailing King George VI , who had lung cancer, died at Sandringham in the early hours. (Photo Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the start of the Platinum Jubilee during a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House. The Queen came to the throne 70 years ago this Sunday when, on February 6 1952, the ailing King George VI , who had lung cancer, died at Sandringham in the early hours. (Photo Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The monarch attended a reception held in the ballroom of Sandringham House where members of the local community looked on as she cut a cake to mark the occasion.

The Queen succeeded her father, King George VI, following his death on February 6, 1952, with the monarch returning to the estate where he died to mark the anniversary.

Hide Ad

The 95-year-old head of state arrived at the event with a wooden walking stick and her trademark black handbag.

The event at Sandringham House is the first time the Queen has attended an event in person since October. PIC: Joe Giddens/Getty
Hide Ad

The Queen leaned on her stick and chatted to guests who were seated around tables waiting for tea to be served but who stood up when the monarch approached.

Read More
‘Mischievous’ Queen documentary to air for Jubilee celebrations
Hide Ad

Yvonne Browne, vice-president and chairman of the Sandringham WI, said the Queen was on “sparkling form” after she joked and laughed with her guests.

Among those invited were Angela Wood, who as a student was tasked by royal florist and cookery doyenne Constance Spry and cordon bleu chef Rosemary Hume to help perfect their dish of Coronation Chicken for the crowning of the Queen in 1953.

Hide Ad
Queen Elizabeth II cuts a cake to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee during the reception in the ballroom of Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence. (Photo by JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mrs Wood made the Queen laugh when she told the monarch she spent "days and days altering it for Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume".

Hide Ad

The Queen, wearing an Angela Kelly wedgewood blue crepe and white brocade dress, beamed with delight during the gathering, where she appeared at ease.

The event was the largest public engagement the Queen had attended in person since last October's Windsor Castle evening reception for delegates of the Government's Global Investment Summit earlier that day.

Hide Ad

A few days later concerns for the Queen's health were raised after she pulled out of a trip to Northern Ireland and spent a night in hospital, she was ordered to rest by doctors who later advised her to carry out light duties.

The Queen marks the anniversary of her Accession Day in quiet fashion but today met with members of the Sandringham community on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her reign. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.
Hide Ad

Today, her guests included members of her local Women's Institute (WI), the Sandringham branch she supports as president, and Sandringham Estate pensioners.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated across the country during an extended June Bank Holiday in honour of the longest-serving British monarch.

Hide Ad

During the reception the Queen also met representatives from West Norfolk Befriending a charity which aims to reduce the social isolation experienced by the elderly by matching them with trained volunteer befrienders who visit on a regular basis.

And she spoke to members of Little Discoverers which provides early education for pre-school children with movement difficulties and delayed development.

Hide Ad
The Queen was reportedly in her element and in "sparkling" form as she chatted with guests this afternoon. PIC: Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images

The gathering was held as part of a low-key weekend to mark the anniversary, which the Queen tends to mark in ‘quiet contemplation’ of her father.

Hide Ad

He died aged 56, with Queen Elizabeth II taking to the throne aged just 25.

This will be the first anniversary of her accession without her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died last April.

Hide Ad

Anne Tennant, Lady Glenconner, who was a maid of honour at the Queen's coronation, said she believed the anniversary would be tinged with sadness given it corresponds with the day her father died.

Lady Glenconner said: "I think the Queen will look back very sadly."

Hide Ad

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.