The Queen posts beautiful new photo to mark her 96th birthday

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The Queen celebrated her 96th birthday today (April 21) by sharing a new photo which reflected her lifelong passion for horses and riding.

In the image, the monarch can be seen holding the reigns of two fell ponies - Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale next to a magnolia tree on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Tweets by RoyalFamily

The Royal Family's official Twitter account added the post: "Ahead of The Queen’s 96th Birthday tomorrow, @windsorhorse have released a new photograph of Her Majesty.

"Taken last month in the grounds of Windsor Castle, The Queen is pictured with two of her fell ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale. Happy Birthday Your Majesty!"

A second photo of the Queen aged 2 in 1928 was also shared by The Royal Family, along with the message: "Today as The Queen turns 96, we’re sharing this photograph of the young Princess Elizabeth aged 2.

"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."

Her Majesty will be marking the occasion in Sandringham, having travelled by helicopter to her Norfolk estate where she will be joined by family and friends.

Britain's longest-running monarch is expected to stay in a cottage on the estate that her late husband Prince Philip was particularly fond of.

As many royals fans will know, the Queen celebrates two birthdays, Her Majesty's official one today (April 21) and a second one in June with the annual Trooping of Colour parade.

The second celebration in June takes place in case the weather in April is bad, which is part of a long-standing tradition that dates back to the reign of King George II.

Meanwhile back in February, the Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service.

The anniversary will be celebrated with events that are taking place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.

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