Age no barrier to helping the environment for Elizabeth II it seems.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary turned 93 in April of this year, and on a visit to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) near Cambridge the monarch rolled back the years as she planted a sapling.

When asked by the NIAB's chairman Jim Godfrey if she needed any help, the Queen was defiantly swift in her reply: "No, no, I'm still perfectly capable of planting a tree."

After handing her handbag to a lady in waiting, the Queen set to the task at hand.

She surprised people at the institute by taking a shovel and digging into the earth as she planted a tree.

According to a report on the BBC the institute's chief executive Dr Tina Barsby said of the surprise decision: "On the rehearsal, the idea was that she would supervise the planting of a tree. "But she gave her bag to someone to hold and said 'I'm still perfectly capable of planting a tree' and she put the soil in herself."