Queen to fly to Sandringham for 96th birthday

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

The monarch is expected to 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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

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.

Royal insiders say the Queen is in 'good spirits' but is struggling with her mobility.

Harry told the broadcaster: "Being with her, it was great. It was so nice to see her... she's on great form.”

"She's always got such a great sense of humour with me and I'm just making sure she's protected and got the right people around her.”

He also said the United States was his home "for the time being" where he has been "welcomed with open arms".

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.

Prince Harry gave an interview to NBC's Today show from the Netherlands during the Invictus Games.

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”.

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.”

Her Majesty was forced not to attend the Easter service, at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after pulling out of the Maundy Service days earlier - the first time she has missed it since 1970.

She was able to attend the Thanksgiving Service for Prince Philip last month at Westminster Abbey.

But difficulties in moving and discomfort in travelling have meant that she has pulled out of several events, including the annual Commonwealth Service.

The Queen has often spoken of the importance of her Christian faith, and was understood to have been disappointed that she was not able to attend the "mattins service", celebrating Easter Sunday.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, marking the start of this year's Platinum Jubilee of her 70-year-reign, described her Christian faith as "the rock on which she stands".

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 at https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.