Prince William, Kate Middleton and More Royals Honor Queen Elizabeth II on Her 96th Birthday

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Journey to The Throne

Put on your birthday crowns because Queen Elizabeth II just turned 96.

Members of the royal family celebrated the April 21 milestone by posting tributes on Instagram. Prince William and Kate Middleton, for instance, shared a series of photos, including one of them with the monarch at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London and a throwback of the queen sitting next to seven of her great-grandchildren—Prince George, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte, Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Lena Tindall and Mia Tindall—and her late husband Prince Philip

“Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today!” a message posted to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official Instagram account read. “An inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, it’s particularly special to be celebrating in this #PlatinumJubilee year.”

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shared their birthday wishes, as well. Alongside a number of photos from over the years, the couple wrote on their Clarence House account, “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a particularly special 96th birthday today, as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee year.”

In addition, the royal family’s Instagram account, which keeps followers updated on the activities of the queen and her royal family members, posted a photo of Queen Elizabeth II that was taken when she was just 2 years old and detailed her journey to the throne. 

“Then Princess Elizabeth, she was the eldest daughter of The Duke and Duchess of York and was never expected to become Queen,” the message read. “Her life changed in 1936 when her uncle, King Edward VIII abdicated, her father became King George VI and the young Princess became the heir presumptive. Following the sad death of her father in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II aged just 25, and this year is celebrating 70 years on the throne – a first in British history.”

On the eve of the queen’s 96th birthday, the account also released a new picture of Her Majesty that was taken last month on the grounds of Windsor Castle alongside two of her fell ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale.

So, how is Queen Elizabeth II celebrating today? Well, she’s at Sandringham Estate, her home in Norfolk, England. On April 20, a senior Buckingham Palace spokesperson told E! News Her Majesty had traveled there for a “private break.”

Over the past year, the queen has experienced a few health issues (including testing positive for COVID-19 in February, spraining her back in November, and spending a night in the hospital for what the Palace said were “preliminary investigations” in October) that have caused her to miss some events. However, she’s continued to perform her duties and Prince Harry told Today his grandmother appeared to be “on great form” when he and Meghan Markle recently saw her for tea.

“It’s her sense of humor and her ability to see the humor in so many different things,” he said when asked about the queen’s best qualities. “We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else. So that’s always a nice piece to it. But I think after a certain age, you get bored of birthdays.”

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family).

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