An official photograph of the Queen has been released ahead of celebrations to mark her Platinum Jubilee.
The portrait, by Ranald Mackechnie, was taken in the Victoria Vestibule at Windsor Castle earlier this year.
In her Jubilee message the monarch thanked people for organising events to celebrate her milestone, saying “many happy memories” would be created.
Millions are gearing up for street parties to mark 70 years on the throne over the four-day bank holiday weekend.
There are also a series of official events starting with Thursday’s Trooping of the Colour parade and ending on Sunday with a Jubilee Pageant through London.
The specially commissioned portrait pictures show the Queen looking contented, sitting on a cushioned window seat at the castle which has been her main home for the last couple of years. The historic residence’s famous Round Tower is visible in the distance.
The pared back shot is Mr Mackechnie’s fourth time photographing the monarch and her family.
In her Jubilee message the monarch said: “I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
The traditional Trooping of the Colour parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday will involve more than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division, as well as an RAF flypast.
The 96-year-old monarch, who has mobility issues and has recently cancelled several public appearances, is likely to join members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the display.
On Thursday evening, more than 3,000 beacons will be lit across the UK and the Commonwealth in tribute to the Queen, with the Tree of Trees beacon illuminated outside the palace.
The monarch is to lead the lighting of the principle Jubilee beacon in a special ceremony at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace said.
Also on Thursday the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will guest star in an episode of TV soap EastEnders, on BBC One at 19:30 BST. (BBC)