Queen Elizabeth has cut a cake to mark her Platinum Jubilee as she met members of the Sandringham community on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her reign.
Ahead of Accession Day, she hosted a reception for volunteer groups, pensioners, and fellow members of the local Women’s Institute (WI) group.
Guests included a former cookery student who helped create the original Coronation chicken recipe.
The Queen was described as being in “sparkling” form at the reception.
On Sunday, she will have reigned for 70 years, excluding Accession Day.
It also marks the day her father George VI died in 1952.
The event at Sandringham House was the largest in-person public engagement the Queen had attended since a reception at Windsor Castle in October.
There had been concerns for her health last autumn after she spent a night in the hospital and was ordered to rest by royal doctors.
Vice-president of the Sandringham WI Yvonne Browne said the Queen, who laughed and joked with guests, was on “sparkling” form on Saturday.
“Seventy years on the throne shows the Queen has been a moving example to absolutely everyone in all walks of life,” said Ms. Browne.
“She’s been a constant, compassionate and stoic, everything that makes a perfect human being, and has a great strength of character and has overcome so many things.”
The Queen has been a member of the Sandringham branch of the WI since 1943 and its president since 2003.
During the reception, the Queen met Angela Wood, who was 19 when she helped create the dish that became known as Coronation chicken – a mix of cold cooked chicken, mayonnaise, curry powder, and apricot.
The recipe, originally known as Poulet Reine Elizabeth – chicken Queen Elizabeth – was developed to mark the coronation in 1953, a year after her reign began.
Mrs. Wood made the Queen laugh when she told her she spent “days and days altering it” for the cooks who created it.
The Queen, 95, commented that the recipe has likely evolved in the intervening years, saying: “It’s probably changed because in those days we did some things quite differently.”
Junior sous chef Shaun Mason created a modern take on the dish for Saturday’s reception with a Coronation chicken tartlet, which he offered to the Queen and Mrs. Wood.
The Queen caused laughter when she said she would “go away” while the former cookery student tried it, adding: “You can tell me [what you think] when I come back.”