A day after an erroneous BBC tweet claimed she was dead, the Queen stepped out looking radiant – and surrounded by her ladies in waiting

By Simon Perry
Updated June 04, 2015 01:10 PM
Advertisement
Credit: Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty

Call it squad goals: royal edition!

Resplendent in a floral dress and duck egg blue coat by Stewart Parvin with a matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan, Queen Elizabeth II struck a pose on Thursday surrounded by her lovely ladies in waiting.

A day after an erroneous tweet sent by a BBC reporter claimed she had died on Wednesday, the Queen, 89, was very much alive and all smiles as she and daughter Princess Anne, 64, and daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex, 50, celebrated the 100th birthday of the Women’s Institute Thursday at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

But the sunny photo-op didn’t go exactly as planned.

As the monarch struggled to slice a commemorative cake – which had been goosed with a few shots of rum – she quipped that she knew it was a fruit cake because it had proved so hard to cut, an observer tells PEOPLE.

So her only daughter stepped forward to take over slicing duty.

“We gave each of the ladies one to take home, and Princess Anne said it was a good thing as she loves to take fruit cake sailing with her,” Julie Clarke, Federation Chair of North Yorkshire, told reporters afterward. “She told me: ‘We always cut these cakes and never get to try a bit or take one home! I am so glad I can now.’ ”

Earlier, the Queen used the occasion to praise the Women’s Institute (which recently invited Princess Kate to join) for its place in the heart of communities of the country for 100 years.

Related Video: A Polo Lesson from Prince Harry’s Friend Nacho Figueras

“The Women’s Institute has been a constant throughout, gathering women together, encouraging them to acquire new skills and nurturing unique talents,” the Queen, who is president of her local WI group at Sandringham in Norfolk, said.

“In the modern world, the opportunities for women to give something of value to society are greater than ever, because, through their own efforts, they now play a much greater part in all areas of public life.

“In 2015 it continues to demonstrate that it can make a real difference to the lives of women of all ages and cultural backgrounds, in a spirit of friendship, cooperation and support.”

Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? Click here to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter.