ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship reports on the preparations on the eve of Accession Day, with the Queen hours away from becoming the first British sovereign to reach 70 years on the throne
The Queen was described as being on "sparkling" form as she hosted a reception on the eve of Accession Day where she met a former cookery school student who helped perfect the dish forever associated with the start of her reign.
The monarch, who reaches her Platinum Jubilee milestone on Sunday, chatted with Angela Wood who, as a 19-year-old, spent days cooking versions of the dish first known as Poulet Reine Elizabeth, chicken Queen Elizabeth, for its creators.
The two women spoke at a reception held in the ballroom of Sandringham House where members of the local community gathered to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne and the monarch cut a cake featuring the Platinum Jubilee emblem.
The Queen told Angela Wood: “It’s probably changed because in those days we did some things quite differently"
The event was the largest in-person public engagement the Queen had attended since last October’s Windsor Castle evening reception for delegates who had attended the Government’s Global Investment Summit earlier that day.
A few days later concerns for the Queen’s health were raised after she pulled out of a trip to Northern Ireland and spent a night in hospital, she was ordered to rest by doctors who later advised her to carry out light duties.
The Queen quips "I think I'll just put a knife in it...somebody else can do the rest of it" as she cuts a cake to mark her 70-year reign
Her guests included members of her local Women’s Institute (WI), the Sandringham branch she supports as president, and Sandringham Estate pensioners. Yvonne Browne, vice-president and chairman of the Sandringham WI, described the Queen as being on “sparkling” form.
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Before the pandemic, the Queen would visit her WI colleagues at West Newton village hall every year as part of her winter stay on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated across the country during an extended June Bank Holiday in honour of a monarch who has left an indelible mark on the life of the nation.
But February 6, the date of the Queen’s accession to the throne, is a poignant period for the Queen, as it is the day her father King George VI died in 1952.
She is already the nation’s longest reigning monarch, and the longest still-serving sovereign in the world.
During the reception the Queen also met representatives from West Norfolk Befriending, a charity which aims to reduce the social isolation experienced by the elderly by matching them with trained volunteer befrienders who visit on a regular basis.
And she spoke to members of Little Discoverers which provides early education for pre-school children with movement difficulties and delayed development.