The Queen’s birthday photo—monarch’s sweet snap features two magnificent ponies and pays numerous tributes to Prince Philip

The Queen’s birthday photo incorporates many thoughtful details that honor not only her big day but the love of her life.

Queen's birthday photo has been released, seen here celebrating the start of the Platinum Jubilee
(Image credit: Photo Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen’s birthday photo features two magnificent white ponies and there are numerous heartfelt tributes to Prince Philip many might not have noticed.

Though the Queen has two birthdays, her official celebrations often attract the most attention from fans and traditionally see many of the extended Royal Family members assemble on the Buckingham Palace balcony at Trooping the Color. However, whilst the Queen will enjoy all this and more in June for her Platinum Jubilee weekend, her actual birthday falls on April 21st. 

The Queen has now turned 96 years old and to mark this milestone, the Royal Family have taken to social media to share a brand new photo of the remarkable monarch. Released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the picture was taken last month at Windsor Castle

And although it was taken almost a year after Prince Philip passed away, his presence is strongly felt in the Queen’s birthday photo with some beautiful subtle details…

The new picture is the fourth in a series of snaps released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show following images that celebrated the Golden and Platinum Jubilees and the Queen’s 90th birthday. It shows the Queen smiling alongside two white Fell Ponies, revealed to be Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale.

For the Queen’s birthday photo it was green that reigned supreme when it came to her outfit. Her Majesty opted for the same forest green cape-style coat that she wore to Sandringham to mark the start of her Jubilee year in February. And given the significance of why everyone wore green at Prince Philip’s memorial last month, this is a heart-warming choice. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

It’s believed that this nature-themed color is a nod to Prince Philip’s military career in the Royal Navy. Whilst the decision to re-wear this coat could also possibly be seen as a nod to him, as she was last pictured wearing it at Sandringham where the late Duke of Edinburgh spent much of his time after he retired in 2017.

The Norfolk estate is understood to have been incredibly special to him and now following his death it likely holds even more precious memories for Her Majesty. Windsor Castle, where the Queen’s birthday photo was taken, is also thought to be another meaningful residence for her as it’s where she and Prince Philip spent lockdown together and where his funeral was held.

Even the Fell Ponies have a touching connection to the Duke of Edinburgh, with two of his black Fell Ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm standing with his old carriage in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle on the day of his funeral. 

Horse drawn carriage seen in the Quadrangle ahead of during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

(Image credit: Photo by Ian Vogler/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Balmoral Nevis was reportedly bred by the Queen herself and as an endangered breed, her and the Duke’s love of Fell Ponies also reflects his commitment to preserving wildlife and the conservation. 

Ultimately, whilst the Queen’s birthday photo does celebrate her amazing milestone, it could also be seen as a wonderful tribute to Prince Philip and her enduring love for her beloved “strength and stay”. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!