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Watch: The Queen celebrated her 95th birthday with a tribute to Prince Philip
Today will be a day of mixed emotions for the Queen, who is celebrating her 95th birthday just twelve days after the very sad loss of her husband, Prince Philip. And to mark it, Her Majesty has released a statement devoted to the Duke of Edinburgh. The message, shared on social media, describes her "period of great sadness," while thanking everyone for their tributes.
"I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate," reads the statement.
"While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world."
It continues: "My family and I would like to thank you for al the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people through his life." The note is signed off 'Elizabeth R'.
It's not known exactly how Queen Elizabeth will be marking her 95th birthday, considering she and the rest of the royals are still officially in mourning. However, it's been reported that members of the royal family are making an extra special effort to ensure that the Queen feels supported and that won't be alone at any point today.
According to The Mirror, the family all agreed to put a rota system in place (reportedly spearheaded by Sophie Wessex, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall), so that Her Majesty is continually surrounded by loved ones. It's also believed that the Queen has two new corgi puppies to keep her busy during this initial period of mourning too.
As part of the rota system, Prince Charles is expected to visit Windsor, making the hour-and-a-half-long drive from his country home, Highgrove in Gloucester. His sister, Princess Anne (who shared an incredibly touching tribute to her father) is also believed to be with her mother today.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will likely drop by with her two children, Lady Louise Windsor (who was especially close to Prince Philip) and James, Viscount Severn too. Unable to be there in person due to the children having school, the Cambridges are thought to have scheduled in video calls with the Queen, so that she can still 'see' three of her great-grandchildren, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis on her special day.
"The Queen will not be alone," a source is reported to have said of the decision. "She will have others who care about her deeply and want to be there to support her in her most pressing hour."
Traditionally, the Queen’s birthday would be marked by gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London, however these have been cancelled for the second year running due to the pandemic.
Our thoughts remain with the Queen and the entire royal family at this sad time.
Watch: 5 things you never knew about Queen Elizabeth II
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