The Queen photographed with rarely-seen adorable family members in special new birthday portrait

The Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen looks majestic alongside rarely-seen adorable family members in special new portrait released to celebrate her 96th birthday.

The Queen (opens in new tab) looks majestic as she poses with two of her fell ponies in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The beautiful portrait, released by Royal Windsor Horse Show, was taken last month and captures her Majesty's love of animals as she holds the reins of white ponies Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee (opens in new tab) this year and is set to celebrate the occasion with a special four-day bank holiday (opens in new tab) weekend, concert at Buckingham Palace (opens in new tab) plus other traditions.

The latest image is the fourth in a series of photos released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, following images that celebrated the Golden Jubilee, the Platinum Jubilee and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

First staged in 1943, The Queen has attended every single Royal Windsor Horse Show and it's hoped her Majesty will feel up to attending this years show which will be held between 12th - 15th of May as the Queen has previously pulled out of events including Maundy Day service (opens in new tab).

The Queen birthday portrait

And fans are in admiration of the Queen birthday portrait. One fan wrote, "Oh this is JUST lovely❤️"

Another fan wrote, "Her majesty with some of her most beloved creatures— horses. Second only to the corgis 😍"

A third supporter added, "What a wonderful photo of Her Majesty. She must be so proud of her beautiful ponies. They’re absolutely gorgeous."

In 2020 the Queen suffered heartbreak when five of her beloved ponies died (opens in new tab). She has a love of equestrian and her favourite hobby is horseracing (opens in new tab) and has even passed on her love of horse riding to her great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis as it was reportedly their new hobby (opens in new tab).

In addition to the Queen birthday portrait, Buckingham Palace released an adorable snap of the Queen as a toddler, grinning from ear to ear and captioned it, "Happy Birthday Your Majesty! Today as The Queen turns 96, we’re sharing this photograph taken when she was two years old.

"Then Princess Elizabeth, she was the eldest daughter of The Duke and Duchess of York and was never expected to become Queen. Her life changed in 1936 when her uncle, King Edward VIII abdicated, her father became King George VI and the young Princess became the heir presumptive.

It added, "Following the sad death of her father in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II aged just 25, and this year is celebrating 70 years on the throne - a first in British history."

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.