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Queen Elizabeth poses for new portrait in honor of her 96th birthday

The monarch celebrates her major birthday on April 21. 
Image: BRITAIN-ROYAL-QUEEN
The Royal Windsor Horse Show released a new portrait ahead of Queen Elizabeth II's 96th birthday.HENRY DALLAL/Royal Horse Show / AFP via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 96th birthday with a new royal portrait.

A few hours ahead of her milestone birthday on Thursday, the Royal Windsor Horse Show shared a photograph of the monarch. 

The picture, which was uploaded to the royal family’s official Instagram account, shows the queen holding the reins of her two ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale, while wearing a green, caped coat. 

“Taken last month in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the photo 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,” the caption said.

The post also included a fun fact: the queen has attended every Royal Windsor Horse Show since 1943. 

On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II traveled from Windsor Castle to her Sandringham estate in Norfolk "for a private break," a senior Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed to NBC News.

Image: BRITAIN-ROYAL-QUEEN
This undated handout photograph released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show on April 20, 2022 shows Queen Elizabeth II standing with her ponies, Bybeck Nightingale (right) and Bybeck Katie (left), to mark her 96th birthday.HENRY DALLAL/Royal Windsor Horse Show / AFP via Getty Images

Her majesty will hold her grand celebration — the queen’s Platinum Jubilee — this summer, as June will mark 70 years since she ascended to the throne. The festivities will be held in London.

Prince Harry, who spoke with Hoda Kotb on TODAY Wednesday for an exclusive interview, revealed he does not know if he will be able to travel with his family to the U.K. for the jubilee.

“There’s lots of things, security issues and everything else,” he explained. “So this is what I’m trying to do — trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.”

The Duke of Sussex, 37, now lives miles away from his grandmother in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife, the former Meghan Markle, and their two children, 10-month-old Lilibet and Archie, who turns 3 next month. The couple relocated in 2020 after announcing they had decided to officially “step back” as senior royals.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently visited his grandmother on their way to the fifth Invictus Games in The Hague in the Netherlands. 

“Being with her, it was great,” he told Hoda. “It was just so nice to see her … She’s on great form.”

Despite the distance, Harry is still looking out for his grandmother.

He shared that he ensures “that she’s, you know, protected and got the right people around her.”

Harry added that it was nice to catch up with his grandmother and make her laugh. 

“She’s always got a great sense of humor with me,” he said.