The Queen has expressed her thanks for all the ‘support and kindness’ shown following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The monarch said in a statement: ‘We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.’
It came as Buckingham Palace shared a photo of the Queen as she marked her 95th birthday without Prince Philip.
The photo, released on the official Royal Family Instagram account this morning, shows the Queen smiling in a burgundy ensemble at a royal engagement.
Instead of sharing their own posts, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Instagram accounts re-posted the radiant photo of Her Majesty.
Celebrations will be a subdued this year with no traditional gun salutes while the Queen observes a two-week mourning period following the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99.
The Queen is expected to be visited by family today but grandson Prince Harry will not be among them. He returned home to California from London yesterday, just 24 hours before his grandmother’s birthday and two days after his grandfather’s funeral.
Buckingham Palace has shared a smiling photo of the Queen to mark her 95th birthday as she celebrates without Prince Philip
The photo, released on the official Royal Family Instagram account this morning, shows the Queen smiling in a burgundy ensemble at a royal engagement
The Duke of Sussex, 36, is understood to have flown into Los Angeles on an American Airlines flight from London Heathrow shortly after 1.30pm local time yesterday.
His chauffeur-driven MPV was seen leaving the private terminal at LAX, reserved for celebrities and the super-rich, and was spotted again arriving at the Sussexes’ Montecito mansion at around 4pm.
The Queen will spend the day quietly and is expected to go for a walk with her dogs, who have been a huge comfort in the days since Prince Philip’s death.
In keeping with the pared back celebrations, the palace scrapped plans to release a new photo of the Queen to mark her birthday, as is customary, and instead release one from a previous royal engagement.
The Queen has worn the outfit on a number of previous occasions including a visit to the MI5 headquarters last year and to the Commonwealth Day Service in 2018.
The simple caption read: ‘Today is The Queen’s 95th birthday.
‘The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Celebrations will be a subdued affair this year with no traditional gun salutes, as the Queen remains in mourning for her husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, who she has called her ‘strength and stay’. Pictured, the couple in 2003
The Queen and Prince Philip wave to guests attending celebrations for the Queen’s official 90th birthday on The Mall on June 12, 2016. Today marks the Queen’s actual birthday. Her official birthday is celebrated on the second Saturday in June with the Trooping the Colour parade.
‘This year Her Majesty remains at Windsor Castle, during a period of Royal Mourning following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh.’
Hours later the account posted a message thanking royal fans for their birthday messages and condolences following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
In a bid to keep Her Majesty company, the family have agreed a rota to visit the Queen over the coming days to ensure that she is not left alone.
Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are reported to be among the Queen’s first visitors.
‘The Queen will not be alone. She will have others who care about her deeply and want to be there to support her in her most pressing hour,’ a source told The Mirror
‘In typical fashion the Queen has insisted she is coping and despite the suggestion she had prepared herself for this day to come, everyone is well aware there is nothing like the experience when it comes.’
The Queen has worn the outfit on a number of occasions, including a 2020 visit to the MI5 headquarters (pictured) and the 2018 Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today lead tributes to the Queen, writing a message on Twitter
Typically the Queen’s birthday is marked with a 21-gun salute fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from either Hyde Park or Green Park, followed by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company.
This year it will not take place, marking the second year in a row the monarch has eschewed the tradition.
The Queen last year decided the celebratory display of military firepower would not be ‘appropriate’ as the UK was in lockdown with thousands dead from the coronavirus outbreak.
Trooping the Colour, which is usually held in June to mark the Queen’s ‘official’ birthday, will also not go ahead for the second year due to the Covid pandemic.
Instead, courtiers are considering an ‘alternative parade’ in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, similar to an event dubbed ‘mini Trooping’ that was held last summer.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson today lead tributes to the Queen, saying: ‘I would like to send my warm wishes to Her Majesty The Queen on her 95th birthday.
‘I have always had the highest admiration for Her Majesty and her service to this country and the Commonwealth. I am proud to serve as her Prime Minister.’
Poignant images of Her Majesty bowing her head and watching the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin from behind a mask in St George’s Chapel moved millions in Britain and around the world
The Queen, who was born on April 21, 1926, in Bruton Street, central London, grew up not expecting to become queen. Her father, George VI, only took the crown when his elder brother Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Pictured: The newly-born Princess Elizabeth with her mother and father
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born at 2.40am on April 21 1926.
She was the first child of the then-Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was born by caesarean section at 17 Bruton Street, the Mayfair home of her mother’s parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.
She was never expected to be a monarch when she was born, but the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII in 1936 put her father on the throne, and changed her destiny.
She wed Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947, and became Queen at the age of 25 when George VI died from lung cancer in 1952.
Elizabeth II, who has been monarch for more than 68 years, is Head of State, the Armed Forces and the Commonwealth.
She will celebrate her platinum jubilee of 70 years on the throne in 2022.