Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 96th birthday privately on Thursday, retreating to the Sandringham estate in eastern England that has offered the monarch and her late husband, Prince Philip, a refuge from the affairs of state. Elizabeth is expected to spend the day at the estate’s Wood Farm cottage, a personal sanctuary where she also spent her first Christmas since Philip’s death in April 2021. This birthday comes during the queen’s platinum jubilee year, marking her 70 years on the throne. Public celebrations will take place June 2-5, when 4-days of jubilee festivities have been scheduled to coincide with the monarch’s official birthday.
To honor the occasion: Toy maker Mattel says it’s marking the occasion by releasing a Barbie doll in the queen’s likeness. The doll will be sold in London stores Harrods, Selfridges and Hamleys.