Queen energy! In honor of her 96th birthday, a new portrait was released Wednesday by the Royal Windsor Horse Show of Queen Elizabeth! Her majesty was photographed with her two beautiful white fell ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale, on the grounds of Windsor Castle last month. For the portrait, the Queen wore a dark green, cape-like coat as she held on to the reigns of her two gorgeous horses in front of a picturesque magnolia tree.
The photo marked her 96th birthday, April 21, 1926, as she also traveled from Windsor Castle to her Sandringham estate in Norfolk — about 110 miles north of London, Buckingham Palace confirmed to PEOPLE. Although the palace told the outlet the Queen would be celebrating her birthday privately, the estate will give her plenty of reminders of her late husband, Prince Phillip, who died last April at age 99.
Phillip spent a lot of him time at the homely five-bedroom estate, which was updated and renovated in recent years to make it easier for him to get around. The Prince retired from public life in 2017 while the Queen remained at Buckingham Palace in London to continue her royal duties. While in the country, the Prince took on activities like carriage driving and painting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Queen and her Prince spent most of their time together at Windsor Castle prior to his death.
The Sandringham property was originally purchased by Queen Victoria and her husband Albert in 1862. Former palace bodyguard Ken Wharfe described the estate as having “a fantastic outlook from the front across the amazing landscaped gardens” to PEOPLE in their winter Royals issue. “She doesn’t have to be monarch there,” added a former staffer. “She can be Elizabeth rather than the Queen.”
Moreover, the Queen typically spends time at the Norfolk property around Christmas with her family and stays until right after Feb. 6, which is the anniversary of her father King George VI‘s death, aka the day she became the monarch.