The Special Place Queen Elizabeth Is Spending Her 96th Birthday

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Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 96th birthday in a special location. A royal source tells ET that the queen, who is turning 96 on Thursday, will be traveling to Sandringham, where her late husband, Prince Philip, "spent many of the last years of his life."

"The queen will spend her 96th birthday privately at Sandringham. She will travel to Sandringham from her base at Windsor," the source explains. "Sandringham holds a very special place in her heart, as it is where Prince Philip spent many of the last years of his life."

Sandringham is also where her father died, and is the location the queen returns to each year to commemorate the sad occasion. 

"Every year, on February 6, the day of his death, she has returned to Sandringham. The family also has traditionally spent Christmas at Sandringham," the source adds.

News of the queen's quiet birthday celebration comes after her grandson, Prince Harry, sat down with the Today show's Hoda Kotb -- while taking part in this year's Invictus Games -- to talk about the Games and detail his recent visit with his grandmother, his first in nearly two years.

"Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her," Harry shared. "She’s on great form."

In an advanced clip of the full interview, which aired Tuesday on NBC Nightly News, Harry recalled how he and the queen shared laughs over tea, amid increasing concerns regarding her health following her battle with COVID-19.

"She’s always got a great sense of humor with me," Harry said of his relationship with his grandmother. "It was really nice to catch up with her."

Harry said that, despite moving to the United States with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their children -- son Archie, 2, and daughter Lilibet, 10 months -- he's doing everything in his power to make sure his grandmother is getting all the support and help possible.

"I’m just making sure that she’s, you know, protected and got the right people around her," he explained.

Addressing the move to the United States, and their community in Santa Barbara, California, specifically, Harry said that he and his family have "been welcomed with open arms."

"You know, home for me, now, is you know, for the time being, is in the States," Harry shared.

While Harry's stop in the U.K. was brief, royal expert Katie Nicholl, told ET that Harry is working on mending his relationship with his family and possibly returning to England for the queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration in June.

"Harry, I'm told, suggested perhaps that they might get some sort of a mediator in on sort of these talks, to make some progress," Nicholl revealed. "It was something that he had suggested to his father. He's made it very clear that he wants to sort things out. He wants things to be improved."

Nicholl added that Harry hopes to be in a better place with both his brother and his father, Prince Charles, by the time he returns.

"I'm hearing that he wants to be over here for the queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. I think, possibly, that suggestion of a mediator is probably less the relationship with his father, because his father is open to wanting to sort things out," Nicholl continued. "I would imagine it's more to do with his brother. I would imagine that that idea of wanting a mediator is probably more to do with him and William. His relationship, really, is at a bit of a crossroads. We have been told for many months now that they're not close at the moment. It has been very, very difficult."


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