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Queen Elizabeth II

‘Congratulations!’ A celebratory tune for The Queen as she hosts local volunteers on the eve of her Platinum Jubilee

With just hours to go until the 70th anniversary of her reign, The Queen has hosted a reception for community and volunteer groups at Sandringham House.

There was cake, music and plenty of smiles as representatives from local charities, Little Discoverers which supports children with movement issues and delayed development, and West Norfolk Befriending, which aims to reduce social isolation by matching elderly people with befrienders. They joined members of the Sandringham Women’s Institute at the reception. Those invited also included Sandringham Estate pensioners and their families.

The Queen was seen chatting happily with her guests who were treated to entertainment by the Hunstanton Concert Band as tea and cake was served. Among the tunes played was ‘Congratulations’ as a nod to The Queen’s approaching historic anniversary.

The Mayor of King’s Lynn, Harry Humphrey, presented The Queen with a Loyal Address and a Platinum Jubilee Mosaic which had been made for her by school children across West Norfolk.

Her Majesty also cut a cake, iced with her official Platinum Jubilee logo, and made by a local resident.

Among the guests was Angela Wood who, almost seven decades ago, helped create the original recipe for Coronation Chicken. She told The Queen about the work involved with the dish which has become a staple of British picnic baskets every summer.

The Queen was presented with a special posy to mark the occasion. Among the blooms in the bouquet were some that formed part of her Coronation bouquet in 1953, including lily of the valley.

The anniversary of the accession, February 6th, is expected to be spent quietly by The Queen at Sandringham. It was at the Norfolk house, in the early hours of February 6th 1952, that her father, King George VI, died in his sleep and his throne passed immediately to his daughter. Elizabeth II is the first British Monarch to mark a Platinum Jubilee. The main celebrations for her 70 year reign will take place in London in the first days of June 2022.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.