Queen 'feels she needs to pace herself' for events says Nikkah
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The Queen, 96, smiles as she is photographed at Windsor Castle to mark her historic 70-year reign. The image was shared along with a special message from the head of state on the eve of Jubilee festivities.
The monarch thanked the nation for its goodwill as people across the country prepare to celebrate.
And she spoke of looking to the future with “confidence and enthusiasm”.
The Queen said: “Thank you to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbours and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee, in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.
“I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions.
“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
The message was signed Elizabeth R.
The official portrait unveiled alongside the message shows the Queen sitting in a window at her Berkshire residence with her hands resting in her lap.
The monarch is wearing a light blue coat decorated with pearl and diamante scalloped beading by her dressmaker and close confidante, Angela Kelly.
She also has on her engagement and wedding rings, and her gold watch.
The image was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie in the Queen’s private apartments at Windsor.
The residence’s famous Round Tower is visible in the background of the picture.
Mr Mackechnie said of being commissioned to take the official portrait: “It is an honour to be asked and a privilege to undertake.”
It is the first time in history Britain has celebrated a royal Platinum Jubilee.
The four-day bank holiday weekend marking the Queen’s milestone kicks off on Thursday with Trooping the Colour.
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Members of the Royal Family will attend a traditional service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London on Friday.
On Saturday evening, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 and a television audience of millions.
The Queen is expected to watch the concert on TV from Windsor Castle.
On Sunday, people will gather for patriotic street parties, picnics and barbecues, with more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK.
The finale is the Jubilee Pageant through the streets of London.
It is hoped the monarch will make a second appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony to round off the weekend.
The Queen has recently been suffering from mobility issues and has been pacing herself ahead of the commemorations.
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