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Queen Elizabeth II of England recently turned 96 years young. To celebrate this momentous occasion, she shared a new official photo with the public via her social media accounts. The image features the queen standing between two of her white fell ponies named Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale on the grounds of Windsor Castle. She’s dressed in a dark green coat, which has poignant meaning as being her late husband Prince Phillip’s livery color. (The prince died a little over a year ago on April 9, 2021.)
There's more significance to be had from this photo. The horses aren’t just stately creatures chosen to pose with the monarch. Their inclusion is a nod to Queen Elizabeth's lifelong love of the animal. She and her sister, Margaret, received their first pony at age 4, and the queen rode horses around the grounds of Windsor Castle until just last year.
As noted in the Instagram caption, Queen Elizabeth is also a supporter and enthusiastic spectator of the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show; in fact, she’s attended every single show since it first began in 1943. This particular photo was shot by Henry Dallal, a photographer known for his images of equine beauty.
Queen Elizabeth recently celebrated her 96th birthday and shared a stately photo of her posing with two of her horses.
Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today!
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) April 21, 2022
The Royal Family also wished her well through online tributes.
Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a particularly special 96th birthday today, as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee year. 🎈 pic.twitter.com/CJSMTjOMBp
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) April 21, 2022
Happy Birthday Your Majesty!
Today as The Queen turns 96, we’re sharing this photograph of the young Princess Elizabeth aged 2.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 21, 2022