A beaming Queen Elizabeth has been filmed joking about cutting a cake at a special reception ahead of her Platinum Jubilee
The monarch, who is just hours away from becoming the first British sovereign to reach a historic 70 years on the throne, joined members of the local community in the ballroom of Sandringham House to mark her milestone.
During the event, her majesty, 95, was presented with a locally-baked cake and a large knife and asked to cut the first slice.
Plunging the blade in, she made guests laugh when she joked: ‘I think I might just put the knife in it.
‘Someone else can do the rest.’
‘They can see it,’ she quipped. ‘I don’t mind…I think I can probably read it upside down.’
The Queen was pictured in a powder blue Angela Kelly dress adorned with a white flower pattern at the reception.
She clutched her trademark black handbag and used a wooden walking stick as she moved around the room chatting to guests.
Among those invited were members of the Sandringham branch of the Women’s Institute, Sandringham Estate pensioners and representatives from two local charities West Norfolk Befriending and Little Discoverers.
Yvonne Browne, vice-president and chairman of the Sandringham WI, described the Queen as being on ‘sparkling’ form.
The event was the largest in-person public engagement the Queen had attended since before her recent health scare in mid-October.
Her Majesty also met former cookery school student Angela Wood, who helped to perfect the famous coronation chicken dish served to guests after the Queen’s 1953 Coronation ceremony.
Mrs Wood made the Queen laugh when she told the monarch she spent ‘days and days altering it for Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume’.
Commenting on how the recipe has likely developed over the years the Queen said: ‘It’s probably changed because in those days we did some things quite differently.’
She got to try a modern version of the dish, made by Shaun Mason, a junior sous chef who created tiny bite size morsels of the coronation chicken, alongside chicken with curry spices and apricot in a savoury tartlet.
He carried a tray of his creations into the ballroom and announced they were available to sample.
As the morsels were placed between the Queen and Mrs Wood to try, the room erupted with laughter when the Queen quipped ‘I’ll go away’, telling Ms Wood: ‘You can tell me (what you think) when I come back.’
Her Majesty received a posy on departure, which included flowers that formed part of The Queen’s Coronation bouquet in 1953, such as lily of the valley.
Entertainment was provided by Hunstanton Concert Band, who played ‘Congratulations’ as she departed Sandringham House.
Tomorrow, Sunday 6th February, The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking seventy years since Her Majesty acceded the throne on February 6 in 1952.
This Jubilee will poignantly be the first the monarch has commemorated without her late husband Prince Philip, who died in April.
While the Queen’s Accession Day falls on February 6, national celebrations are being held on a special four-day bank holiday weekend in June, with festivities including a pop concert at the Palace, a service of thanksgiving and a pageant on The Mall
February 6 is still a poignant period for the Queen, as it is the day her father King George VI died.
She is already the nation’s longest reigning monarch, and the longest still-serving sovereign in the world.
During the reception the Queen also met representatives from West Norfolk Befriending a charity, which aims to reduce the social isolation experienced by the elderly by matching them with trained volunteer befrienders who visit on a regular basis.
And she spoke to members of Little Discoverers which provides early education for pre-school children with movement difficulties and delayed development