The Queen is celebrating her 96th birthday today.
Tributes poured in for Her Majesty on her special day, with Prince William and Kate Middleton sharing some cute family snaps.
Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today!
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) April 21, 2022
The Royal Family account also shared an adorable black and white photo of the Queen when she was two years old.
The message included, “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,” referencing her celebrating 70 years on the throne in June.
Happy Birthday Your Majesty!
Today as The Queen turns 96, we’re sharing this photograph of the young Princess Elizabeth aged 2.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 21, 2022
Prince Charles and Camilla added:
Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a particularly special 96th birthday today, as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee year. 🎈 pic.twitter.com/CJSMTjOMBp
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) April 21, 2022
The Band of the Coldstream Guards also played “Happy Birthday” for the Queen at Windsor Castle, while a 41-gun salute celebrated the special occasion by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, in Hyde Park, close to Buckingham Palace.
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) April 21, 2022
“On behalf of all Canadians, Whit and I extend our best wishes to Her Majesty The Queen on her 96th birthday.
— Governor General of Canada (@GGCanada) April 21, 2022
Royal Gun Salutes have been fired at saluting stations in key locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well.
In celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s 96th birthday today, #RoyalGunSalutes have been fired from across the United Kingdom.
— British Army (@BritishArmy) April 21, 2022
The Queen is spending her birthday at her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, U.K.
A senior Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement to E! News: “Her Majesty has travelled to the Sandringham estate for a private break.”
Elizabeth is expected to spend the day at the estate’s Wood Farm cottage, a personal sanctuary where she also spent her first Christmas since Philip’s death in April 2021. Philip loved the cottage, in part because it is close to the sea, she said in February when hosting a rare public event at Sandringham.
“I think the Queen’s approach to birthdays very much embodies her ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude,” said Emily Nash, the royal editor at Hello! magazine. ”She doesn’t like a fuss.”
The Queen has increasingly relied on Prince Charles to take on public engagements in the twilight of her reign, most recently offering alms to senior citizens at the Royal Maundy service at St. George’s Chapel.
Charles took on the traditional task of distributing specially minted coins to retirees who were being recognized for service to the church and the local community.
This year, 96 men and 96 women received the coins, one for each year of the queen’s life.
“She has a lot coming up in the next few months, so it absolutely makes sense that she enjoys her birthday quietly, privately at Sandringham,″ Nash said. “She will no doubt have quite a lot of time to reflect on her happy times there with Prince Philip over the years. But this is really someone whose focus is still on the future, even at the age of 96.”
~ With files from the Associated Press