'I don't matter?' Queen's quip as she kicks off Platinum Jubilee celebrations

5 February 2022, 14:57 | Updated: 6 February 2022, 00:52

Jubilee Queen on ‘sparkling’ form as she celebrates Platinum milestone

By Will Taylor

The Queen kicked off her Platinum Jubilee weekend with a slice of cake at Sandringham.

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The monarch is marking 70 years on the throne on Sunday.

She began her weekend with an afternoon reception, in which she cut into an iced Victoria Sponge decorated with the Platinum Jubilee logo.

Lady Dannatt, the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, told the Queen that the cake was turned upside so the press could take photos.

"I don't matter?" the monarch quipped, to laughter.

She then cut into the treat, remarking: "I'll put the knife in, see if it works" before leaving the blade in place so "somebody else can finish it off".

Arriving with a walking stick, the Queen met members of the Sandringham branch of the Women's institute (WI), as well as Sandringham Estate pensioners and representatives from two charities, West Norfolk Befriending and Little Discoverers.

The Queen is president of the Sandringham branch of WI and her vice-president, Yvonne Browne, said: "She seemed great, she was in sparkling form and we had a good chat about what we have and haven't done during Covid."

She described the event as a "very historic occasion" and paid tribute to the Queen, who has been a member of the local WI since 1943.

Ms Browne said: "Seventy years on the throne shows the Queen has been a moving example to absolutely everyone in all walks of life.

"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."

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The Queen met epresentatives from local community group Little Discoverers
The Queen met epresentatives from local community group Little Discoverers. Picture: Alamy

The Queen also met a former cookery school student, Angela Wood, who helped with the coronation chicken recipe to serve to guests after the 1953 coronation ceremony.

She gave her verdict on the coronation chicken nibbles made by the chef from the royal kitchens, saying: "Very good, and he kept it fairly well to the recipe.

"Obviously, what everybody does comes out a fraction different from the original, but I was impressed."

The Queen meets Angela Wood, the women who helped created coronation chicken.
The Queen meets Angela Wood, the women who helped created coronation chicken. Picture: Alamy

When the Queen was presented with a copy of a "Loyal Address" written by primary schoolchildren from West Norfolk the head of state gave a frank opinion on public proclamations she has heard during her long reign.

She seemed to approve of the words from the younger generation who said about the Queen: "You have shown a caring manner, determination, and dedication to help other people. We think you're doing a great job! We are very lucky to have had you as our Queen for so long.

"We are proud of you for helping us through this pandemic with your inspirational words, and by your actions setting a good example, especially as the last year has been so hard for you."

After reading the address, on display in the ballroom, the Queen said to laughter from the guests: "Most addresses are usually pompous...this is so much nicer."

The Queen receives a posy from one of the young guests at the reception.
The Queen receives a posy from one of the young guests at the reception. Picture: Alamy

It is the largest in-person engagement the Queen has attended since her recent health scare.

She had an overnight stay in hospital in October last year, where preliminary tests were carried out, and was later forced to pull out of the Remembrance Sunday service due to a sprained back.

Doctors ordered her to rest, sticking to light, desk-based duties, such as virtual audiences.