Prince Philip died at the age of 99 on April 9 and his funeral was held on April 17th, just days before the Queen's 95th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II will be turning 95 on April 21, 2021. It is going to the first birthday after the death of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, who passed away at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021. The monarch faces a lonely birthday this year as her family won't be able to spend it with her due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The widowed Queen will be surrounded by a small number of staff members who live in Windsor. Earlier, there were plans to celebrate her birthday with a new portrait but according to the Daily Mail, this plan has been shelved. The Queen is still in the official period of royal mourning for her husband, who was her companion for more than seven decades.
Her birthday comes only four days after her husband's funeral at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17. The Queen's official birthday is celebrated by the public in June but she has usually spent her real birthday with her family, according to TODAY.
I don’t care who you are. Being sat alone for the funeral of your spouse of 70+ years is heartbreaking. Prayers of grace and peace for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. #PrincePhilipfuneral pic.twitter.com/9j7DNpCL7n— Sherry (@sherry_usmcwife) April 17, 2021
However, The Telegraph reports that the Queen is likely going to have a small lunch with her close relatives. The palace will eschew the customary gun salutes that would otherwise sound at midday in London on the Queen's birthday. This is the second year in a row that the salutes are not going to be heard. In 2020, she had asked them to be canceled because of the pandemic. Her official birthday in June was canceled in 2020 for the same reason.
Celebrating her 50 years of marriage with her husband in 1997, the Queen had acknowledged his pivotal role in a speech. She stated: "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."
“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 10, 2021
-Her Majesty The Queen, 1997. pic.twitter.com/wbSldSavNA
During the funeral, the widow sat by herself at the chapel unable to even have her family around her for comfort. However, the Queen has always been stoic, if nothing else, throughout her time as the head of the royal family. She reportedly left a hand-written message to Prince Philip at his funeral service while bidding him adieu. It reportedly said, "In loving memory." The note was kept with a wreath of white blooms including lilies, roses, freesia, and sweet peas, as per Daily Mail. It was placed on top of Prince Philip's coffin. The Queen personally chose the flowers.
She looked grief-stricken and kept her head bowed to honor her husband when she accompanied him on his final journey. Prince Charles reportedly cried while walking behind the casket into the church. He was followed by other royal family members who were devastated as well. The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap, and a wreath of flowers. His coffin was lowered into the vault after the 8-minute procession and the 50-minute service.
Following the ceremony, Princes Harry and William walked with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. They were seen smiling and speaking to each other after being united for the first time in more than a year, during which the rumors of a rift between them have only increased.
It is unlikely that any discussions were done about the Oprah Winfrey interview that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave, or of other matters. Royal sources commented on the matter saying "one swallow does not a summer make" indicating that the issues between the brothers won't get resolved that easily. The hurt between them still remains strong.
One palace insider that the rift could actually take years to heal, and it may not even happen. They also added that there was anger in the royal family about the interview as allegations of racism and lack of mental health support were made against them.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photos by WPA Pool