Queen shares touching words about 'devoted' Prince Philip in new Instagram post

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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.

A portrait, 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 in 2016 in a portrait by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz to mark the monarch's 90th birthday) - 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 touching portrait and quote were shared to Instagram today, alongside the caption: 'At The Queen’s Coronation in 1953, The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty’s "liege man of life and limb."

'The Duke was a devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for almost 70 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death.'

The image of the royal couple was first released as part of a series of photo portraits in 2016 to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, and was released the day before Philip's 95th birthday.

Taken at Windsor Castle after Easter that year, the photograph saw the pair wearing matching tones, with the Queen in a pale pink cardigan with gold buttons over a pink-and-white striped blouse, and the duke in a pink shirt under a light brown jacket, with a matching pink pocket square.

It was the sixth and final picture in a series of portraits taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz to mark the Queen's birthday.

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)

The Queen's warm words for her husband in 1997 came after he had praised her for her ‘abundance’ of tolerance.

On their golden wedding anniversary, Philip had said: ‘I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage.’

He added: ‘It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult. You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.’

Meanwhile, 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.

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in an official wedding photograph in 1947

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle in a photograph released last summer

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. 

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 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.

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. Pictured, the couple in 2020 

Philip is expected to be laid to rest in the Royal Vault during his 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.    

The Queen announced her husband's death at midday on Friday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace. 

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'. 

The Queen's speech on her golden wedding anniversary in full

'Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen

When Prince Philip and I were married on this day fifty years ago, Britain had just endured six years of war, emerging battered but victorious. Prince Philip had served in the Royal Navy in the Far East, while I was grappling, in the ATS, with the complexities of the combustion engine and learning to drive an ambulance with care.

Today, Prime Minister, we accept your generous hospitality in a very different Britain. The Cold War is over and our country is at peace. The economy in your charge, and which you inherited, is soundly based and growing. And, during these last fifty years, the mass-media culture has transformed our lives in any number of ways, allowing us to learn more about our fellow human beings than, in 1947, we would have thought possible.

What a remarkable fifty years they have been: for the world, for the Commonwealth and for Britain. Think what we would have missed if we had never heard the Beatles or seen Margot Fonteyn dance: never have watched television, used a mobile telephone or surfed the Net (or, to be honest, listened to other people talking about surfing the Net).

We would never have heard someone speak from the Moon: never have watched England win the World Cup or Red Rum three Grand Nationals. We would never have heard that Everest had been scaled, DNA unravelled, the Channel tunnel built, hip replacements become commonplace. Above all, speaking personally, we would never have known the joys of having children and grandchildren.

As you say Prime Minister, since I came to the throne in 1952, ten Prime Ministers have served the British people and have come to see me each week at Buckingham Palace. The first, Winston Churchill, had charged with the cavalry at Omdurman. You, Prime Minister, were born in the year of my Coronation.

You have all had, however, one thing in common. Your advice to me has been invaluable, as has that from your counterparts, past and present, in the other countries of which I am Queen. I have listened carefully to it all. I say, most sincerely, that I could not have done my job without it.

For I know that, despite the huge constitutional difference between a hereditary monarchy and an elected government, in reality the gulf is not so wide. They are complementary institutions, each with its own role to play. And each, in its different way, exists only with the support and consent of the people. That consent, or the lack of it, is expressed for you, Prime Minister, through the ballot box. It is a tough, even brutal, system but at least the message is a clear one for all to read.

For us, a Royal Family, however, the message is often harder to read, obscured as it can be by deference, rhetoric or the conflicting currents of public opinion. But read it we must. I have done my best, with Prince Philip's constant love and help, to interpret it correctly through the years of our marriage and of my reign as your Queen. And we shall, as a family, try together to do so in the future.

It often falls to the Prime Minister, and the Government of the day, to be the bearer of the messages sent from people to Sovereign. Prime Minister, I know that you, like your predecessors, will always pass such messages, as you read them, without fear or favour. I shall value that, and am grateful for your assurances of the loyalty and support of your Government in years to come.

I wish you wisdom and God's help in your determination that Britain should remain a country to be proud of. And, as one working couple to another, Prince Philip and I hope that on 29 March 2030 you and your wife will be celebrating your own Golden Wedding.

And talking of the future, I believe that there is an air of confidence in this country of ours just now. I pray that we, people, Government and Royal Family, for we are one, can prove it to be justified and that Britain will enter the next millennium, glad, confident and a truly United Kingdom.

This, too, is an opportunity for Prince Philip and me to offer, in the words of one of the most beautiful prayers in the English language, our "humble and hearty thanks" to all those in Britain and around the world who have welcomed us and sustained us and our family, in the good times and the bad, so unstintingly over many years.

This has given us strength, most recently during the sad days after the tragedy of Diana's death. It is you, if I may now speak to all of you directly, who have seen us through, and helped us to make our duty fun. We are deeply grateful to you, each and every one.

Yesterday I listened as Prince Philip spoke at the Guildhall, and I then proposed our host's health. Today the roles are reversed.

All too often, I fear, Prince Philip has had to listen to me speaking. Frequently we have discussed my intended speech beforehand and, as you will imagine, his views have been expressed in a forthright manner.

He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments but 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.

Prime Minister, thank you for helping us to celebrate a very special day in our lives.'

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