The Queen has shared a touching tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh – a day after her husband of 73 years died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99.
An image, which shows Her Majesty, 94, sitting next to Prince Philip, was posted on the Royal Family’s social media along with a moving quote from the monarch about her husband from a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.
She said: ‘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 Queen was speaking in November 1997 during a lunch at Banqueting House in London, in which she looked back on ‘a remarkable fifty years’.
Her Majesty announced her husband’s death at midday on Friday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace.
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The Queen has shared a touching photo tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh(pictured together in 2007) – a day after her husband of 73 years died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99
The image, which shows Her Majesty, 94, sitting next to Prince Philip, was posted on the Royal Family’s social media along with a moving quote (above) from the monarch about her husband from a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997
The Royal Family said in a statement: ‘It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
‘His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss’.
Princes Andrew and Edward are supporting their mother the Queen at Windsor Castle today as she grieves the death of Prince Philip and begins life without her ‘strength and stay’ throughout their 73-year marriage and her 68-year reign.
The Duke of Edinburgh‘s coffin is in Her Majesty’s private chapel of worship at their Berkshire home before being moved to the nearby Albert Memorial Chapel later today, where he will rest during seven days of national mourning ahead of his hugely scaled-back funeral next Saturday.
Their youngest child Prince Edward was the first to arrive to support his mother again today, having made the short trip from his Surrey home. Prince Andrew, who lives in Windsor Castle’s grounds, was also seen arriving after 10am. Prince Charles stayed with the Queen until late last night.
The Queen was speaking in November 1997 during a lunch at Banqueting House in London, in which she looked back on ‘a remarkable fifty years’ (pictured)
Meanwhile Britons have defied public health advice to stay at home and continued to lay flowers for Prince Philip during socially distanced vigils at royal palaces today as the country marks his death at the age of 99.
The bouquets, flowers, cards, Union Flags and balloons are being moved away by staff almost as soon as they are left – but royal aides insist they will all be saved and looked at by the Royal Family inside the grounds of Windsor and Buckingham Palace.
Palace security have even put up signs urging people not to congregate, but waves of mourners are still arriving to pay their respects to Her Majesty’s devoted husband, who dedicated his life to public service and supporting her through their 73-year marriage.
Well-wishers, all respecting social distancing and wearing masks, laid their tributes and briefly stood to pay their respects, with some wiping away tears or quietly singing hymns before returning home.
Philip is expected to be laid to rest in the Royal Vault during his private family funeral at St George’s Chapel next Saturday, stripped back due to Britain’s ongoing lockdown, with only 30 relatives able to attend. Britons are being warned to stay at home and watch on TV to avoid spreading coronavirus.
His grandson Prince Harry is expected to return to the UK and be among the small number of mourners at the funeral, but it is unlikely his pregnant wife Meghan will accompany him, weeks after the couple accused the Royal Family of racism in their bombshell Oprah interview while Philip lay in hospital.
Details about Prince Philip’s ‘peaceful’ death have emerged, with his wife of 73-years understood to have been at his bedside when he slipped away yesterday morning after becoming gravely ill late on Thursday, according to the Daily Telegraph.