Queen Elizabeth II turned 95 on April 21, just 12 short days after Prince Philip‘s death at age 99. Since then, the queen has been mourning, with her traditional birthday celebrations canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Instead of the usual fanfare, the queen has released a statement of thanks to well-wishers worldwide who have sent their condolences to her following the loss of her husband and partner of over 70 years.
Losing Prince Philip just ahead of her birthday must have been particularly devastating for the queen, especially since they shared a romantic tradition for her special day each year.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married for over 70 years
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip married in 1947, just a couple of years after World War II.
The early years of the couple’s marriage were blissful, with the Duke of Edinburgh continuing his career in the Royal Navy and the pair welcoming their first two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. However, the couple’s dynamic shifted in 1952. The queen’s father died suddenly, and at age 25, she ascended to the throne.
Prince Philip had trouble adjusting to his role as a helpmate, and there was certainly some friction between the pair for a time. Thankfully, they were able to find their stride once again.
“I think the main lesson we have learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient in any happy marriage… You can take it from me; the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance,” Prince Philip said in 1997 at his 50th wedding anniversary party.
Prince Philip’s romantic gesture for Queen Elizabeth II during their final wedding anniversary together
During their life together, Prince Philip made sure to keep the romance with his wife alive. Celebrating 73 years of marriage in November 2020, the prince made sure to prove that romance wasn’t dead for their final wedding anniversary.
The anniversary took place over the U.K’s second nationwide lockdown with COVID-19 spiking. At the time, Prince Philip lived in the Wood Farm cottage on the Sandringham estate with the queen living at Buckingham Palace. However, he changed his location to spend time with his wife.
“The Duke of Edinburgh traveled back with Her Majesty to Windsor today,” royal correspondent Rebecca English shared on Twitter. “They will be at the castle together for #lockdown2uk – which includes their 73rd wedding anniversary on November 20.”
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had a romantic birthday tradition
The tradition went back decades. In 1976, just ahead of the queen’s 50th birthday, UPI wrote, “birthday morning the queen will find a flower on her breakfast tray,” calling it “a token her husband never forgets.”
Hopefully, Queen Elizabeth II spent her 95th birthday surrounded by loved ones.
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