New photo of Queen Elizabeth II released by the Palace on her 96th birthday (ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW / Henry DALLAL)
On Thursday, the world’s oldest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 96th birthday in private, as London celebrated her ruler with cannon shots and military bands playing “Happy Birthday”.
Now largely withdrawn from public life due to mobility problems, the ruler, who passed the 70-year reigning milestone in February, chose to celebrate this anniversary in the calm of the royal estate of Sandringham, 200 kilometers to the north. from London.
According to the press, she spends a few days at Wood Farm, a relatively modest home loved by her husband Philip, who died last year at the age of 99.
Hundreds of people, however, gathered outside Windsor Castle (west of London) where he usually resides. A Coldstream Guards band, in red tunics and black bearskin caps, played “Happy Birthday” there and dozens of cannons rang out at noon, also in Hyde Park, along with another marching band.
For the occasion, Buckingham Palace has published a photo taken last month, which portrays the sovereign in a dark green capeline cloak, holding two white Fell ponies, a breed from the north of England, by the reins in the gardens of Windsor.
A Barbie doll with her image was also put up for sale, wearing an ivory dress, a large blue bow and a small crown.
Premier Boris Johnson paid tribute to the ruler on Twitter, referring to “70 years of flawless dedication”. His grandson William and his wife Kate hailed “an inspiration to so many in the UK, the Commonwealth and the world”.
The first months of her “Platinum Jubilee”, which will see four days of highly anticipated celebrations at the beginning of June, were not easy, among her health problems, the accusations of sexual violence against her son Andrew – who arrived recently. to a financial deal with his accuser – and questions about the future of the monarchy and the Commonwealth.
After a brief hospitalization in October, appearances of Elizabeth II have become extremely rare, although she continues to carry out “light assignments” at Windsor Castle, mainly by videoconferencing.
Elizabeth II, queen of 15 countries (AFP /)
On March 29, however, he attended a religious ceremony in Westminster Abbey in honor of Prince Philip. It was her first major public appearance in months.
Arrived in the arms of her son Andrea, leaning on a stick, we saw her there, fragile and dignified, walking slowly and greeting various participants after the ceremony.
She herself had confided in mid-February that she “could not move”, showing her left leg during a hearing in Windsor.
– Wheelchair –
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II parades for her 90th birthday in Windsor, West London on April 21, 2016 (AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS)
According to the British press, he allegedly used a wheelchair in private and an adapted lift was installed at his Scottish residence in Balmoral.
In addition to these problems, he caught Covid-19 in February. “It leaves you very tired and exhausted, true, this horrible pandemic”, the king recently confided.
“He’s in great shape,” however, his nephew Harry told NBC Wednesday after a surprise visit last week with his wife Meghan. The couple now established in California hadn’t seen her for two years.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II cuts a cake for her Platinum Jubilee on February 5, 2022 at her Sandringham House residence (POOL / Joe Giddens)
Since October, the queen has largely delegated the heir to the crown to her 73-year-old son Charles. But she is significantly less popular – 43% in favor of the queen’s 69% – according to a March Ipsos poll, and also far less popular than her son, Prince William, 39 (64%) and wife of the latter, Kate (60%).
42% of Brits would prefer Charles to abdicate in favor of William.
But William and Kate’s recent tour of the Caribbean, to celebrate the monarchy’s attachment to the former colonies on the occasion of the Jubilee, has occasionally sparked tense clashes, particularly over the United Kingdom’s slavering past, foreshadowing difficulties ahead.
Even Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness considered the transition of his country, whose queen is head of state, to a republican regime “inevitable”.