Queen Elizabeth all smiles while attending reception ahead of Platinum Jubilee

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Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday attended her largest public engagement ahead of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

The reigning monarch met with members of the local community during a tea at Sandringham, her country estate in eastern England where she normally spends the anniversary.

Saturday’s event also served as the 95-year-old queen’s biggest public event since her recent health scare. She leaned on a walking stick as she chatted with guests.

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S PLATINUM JUBILEE MARKS 70 YEARS ON THE THRONE

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets Angela Wood, the women who helped create coronation chicken, during a reception to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee, at Sandringham House, her Norfolk residence, in Sandringham, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II meets Angela Wood, the women who helped create coronation chicken, during a reception to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee, at Sandringham House, her Norfolk residence, in Sandringham, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. 
(Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)

The guests included former cookery school student Angela Wood who helped perfect the recipe for coronation chicken, a dish created for the queen’s coronation in 1953. The queen had been on the throne for more than a year when the formal coronation ceremony took place.

Despite recent concerns about her health, Elizabeth moved freely and appeared to use her stick more to lean on when she stopped moving rather than depending on it as she walked around the room.

The monarch’s health has been a concern since she canceled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland in October and was quietly admitted to a hospital overnight for preliminary tests. Doctors advised her to rest and restrict herself to light duties.

QUEEN ELIZABETH TAKES A HELICOPTER TO SANDRINGHAM AHEAD OF HER PLATINUM JUBILEE

The Queen has hosted a reception for members of the local community and volunteer groups at Sandringham House on the eve of Accession Day, the seventieth anniversary of her reign. 

The Queen has hosted a reception for members of the local community and volunteer groups at Sandringham House on the eve of Accession Day, the seventieth anniversary of her reign. 
(Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)

The queen will mark 70 years on the throne Sunday, an unprecedented reign that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty.

As the elder daughter of King George V’s second son, Elizabeth was expected to live the life of a minor royal when she was born on April 21, 1926. Dogs and horses, a country house, a suitable match — a comfortable but uneventful life — seemed her future.

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This photo combo shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during the State Opening of Parliament, London,  in April, 1966 on the left and Nov. 15, 2006, on the right. 

This photo combo shows Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II during the State Opening of Parliament, London,  in April, 1966 on the left and Nov. 15, 2006, on the right. 
(AP Photo, Arthur Edwards, Pool, File)

But everything changed a decade later when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated so he could marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth’s father became King George VI, making the young princess heir apparent.

Elizabeth followed her father in leading by example, joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service in early 1945, becoming the first female member of the Royal Family to join the armed services as a full-time active member. On her 21st birthday, she dedicated her life to the nation and the Commonwealth, the voluntary association of states that grew out of the British Empire.

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For the queen, Sunday is likely to be bittersweet, marking both her long reign and the 70th anniversary of her father's death.

For the queen, Sunday is likely to be bittersweet, marking both her long reign and the 70th anniversary of her father’s death.
(Joe Giddens/Pool Photo via AP)

In the intervening seven decades, the queen has shared confidences with 14 prime ministers and met 13 U.S. presidents.

For the queen, Sunday is likely to be bittersweet, marking both her long reign and the 70th anniversary of her father’s death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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