Queen Elizabeth Steps Out for First Outing of the Year Ahead of Historic Accession Day

The monarch attended a Sandringham House event with representatives from local community groups to mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiles during a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence on February 5, 2022, as she celebrates the start of the Platinum Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Elizabeth is kicking off her Platinum Jubilee celebrations with her first outing of 2022!

The Queen, 95, got the party started on Saturday by hosting a reception at Sandringham House on the eve of her Accession Day, which will mark the 70th anniversary of her reign.

Surrounded by representatives from local charities and members of the Sandringham Estate, she cut a special cake that was decorated with the emblem of the Platinum Jubilee and was given gifts, including a mosaic created by local children.

Among the guests in the Ballroom was Angela Wood, who helped create the original recipe for Coronation Chicken, which was made in 1953 as Britain celebrated when the monarch was crowned at Westminster Abbey. The two women talked about the work involved in developing the recipe at the time, the palace says.

The coronation took place more than a year after Elizabeth became Queen following the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.

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Looking cheery and upbeat, the Queen was joined at Saturday morning's party by fellow members of the Sandringham branch of the Women's Institute. The Queen, who has been a member of the local women's group since 1943, usually attends a meeting with them at a local village church hall when she is staying at Sandringham after Christmas. This year's meeting was not able to take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence, after a reception with representatives from local community groups to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee on February 5, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth carrying her bag and her walking stick. Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

Her Majesty wore an Angela Kelly dress in Wedgewood blue with Nizam of Hyderabad rose broaches, which were originally part of a tiara given to her as a wedding present.

As the Hunstanton Concert Band entertained the party, she talked with pensioners and their families, as well as representatives from local charities Little Discoverers, which provides early education for pre-school children with movement difficulties and delayed development, and West Norfolk Befriending, which aims to reduce social isolation by uniting isolated older people in the local area.

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Harry Humphrey, the mayor of the biggest local town, King's Lynn, also presented the royal with a Loyal Address and Platinum Jubilee Mosaic created by school children from across West Norfolk.

After meeting the guests, the Queen cut a cake that had been made by a local resident and was given flowers, including lily of the valley that had formed part of The Queen's Coronation bouquet in 1953. The concert band played "Congratulations" as she left Sandringham House.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II cuts a cake to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee during a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence on February 5, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth. Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Elizabeth has remained largely out of the public eye in recent months amid a series of health setbacks. She was seen walking with a cane for the first time since 2003 this past October. Shortly thereafter, it was reported she had been advised to give up horse riding and martinis, and she was hospitalized overnight on Oct. 20 for undisclosed "preliminary investigations." On Oct. 29, the Queen was advised to extend her rest period and only "to undertake light, desk-based duties."

In late November, she held a number of in-person meetings and attended a joint christening for great-grandsons August Brooksbank and Lucas Tindall.

A weekend of festivities to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee is planned for June. Beginning on June 2, events will include Trooping the Colour (the annual public festivities for the Queen's birthday), the lighting of Platinum Jubilee beacons, a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral, the Derby at Epsom Downs, a live concert called "Platinum Party at the Palace," the Big Jubilee Lunch, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

Sunday will see the Queen become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

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