Queen Elizabeth II made the decision to spend her 96th birthday at her Sandringham estate because it holds a special place in her heart. The place also reminds her of her late husband Prince Philip.

It is said that the British monarch wanted to be close to the late Duke of Edinburgh during her birthday. As such, she will reportedly be staying at Wood Farm where he used to live after his retirement in 2017. Prior to his death on April 2021, the late royal had turned the place into an organic farm and enjoyed tending to the grounds until Prince Charles took over.

Ahead of The Queen’s 96th Birthday tomorrow, @windsorhorse have released a new photograph of Her Majesty.

Taken last month in the grounds of Windsor Castle, The Queen is pictured with two of her fell ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale.

Happy Birthday Your Majesty! pic.twitter.com/8m46e3SvpX

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 20, 2022

A source told the Mirror that Queen Elizabeth II only very recently made the decision to spend her 96th birthday in the Scottish highlands. "She wanted to be as close as possible to her late husband and in an environment that was very close to both of their hearts," the insider said, adding that "Sandringham holds so many special memories for the Queen and Prince Philip as well as the rest of the royal family."

It has been a tradition for the British royal family to spend their summer holidays and Christmas breaks at Sandringham together. The insider noted that the Queen's visit to her Norfolk home is good news.

"It's certainly a positive step that Her Majesty is feeling well enough and rested to enjoy her upcoming mini-break which she thoroughly deserves to celebrate her birthday," the source said.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II travelled to Sandringham for a "private break." It is believed that other family members will join her to celebrate her birthday at the weekend.

Queen Elizabeth II travelled by helicopter to Sandringham after her meeting with Prince Harry last week Thursday. The Duke of Sussex recently told Hoda Kotb in his interview on the "Today Show" that his grandmother was in good form when they met. They also shared a few laughs when he and Meghan Markle had tea with her at Windsor Castle. He also fondly remembered her good sense of humour during the visit.

Queen ELizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, Feb. 6, became the first British monarch to reign for 70 years Photo: POOL via AFP / Steve Parsons