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Queen Elizabeth holds reception at private residence ahead of Platinum Jubilee

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Queen Elizabeth holds reception at private residence ahead of Platinum Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II travels through Whitehall by carriage with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on the way to Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth II held a reception Saturday at her private residence ahead of her Platinum Jubilee.

The reception for local community members and volunteer groups was held at the Sandringham House in Norfolk, around 100 miles north of London, on the eve of this year's Accession Day, on Sunday, marking 70 years since she assumed the throne.

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During the event, the 95-year-old queen chatted with former cookery school student Angela Wood, who helped develop the Coronation Chicken dish served for her formal coronation in 1953, which took place more than a year after she'd been on the throne.

The dish served to foreign dignitaries at the banquet included cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs.

Other guests included the local branch of the Women's Institute, of which the queen has been president since 2003, the Sandringham Estate pensioners and their families, and representatives from two local charities. The local charities invited included Little Discoverers, which provides support for children with disabilities through early education, and West Norfolk Befriending, which works to help reduce social isolation for older people.

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The queen cut a cake featuring the Platinum Jubilee emblem after meeting with guests, and at the end of the reception, she was a given flowers, including the lily of the valley, that formed part of her coronation bouquet in 1953.

The gathering was the largest she's had since the Global Investment Summit at Windsor Castle in October.

Concerns about her health arose after the summit when she canceled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland and was admitted to a hospital overnight for preliminary tests. Doctors advised limiting herself to carrying out light duties.

Elizabeth moved freely about the reception and used her cane more to lean on rather than depending on it despite recent concerns about her health.

Elizabeth, who assumed the throne when her father King George VI died, usually marks Accession Day at Sandringham, remembering her father on the anniversary of his death.

A series of celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee will culminate with a four-day public holiday in June that will provide an opportunity for people throughout Britain to come together to celebrate the historic milestone.

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