Thursday would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday, and two months after his death, Queen Elizabeth is celebrating him “privately” in her own way.
A palace spokesperson told People Magazine that the 95 year-old Queen will be spending the day “privately.” She also celebrated his birthday by planting of a newly bred rose named after him, according to CBS News. In a small ceremony, the Queen accepted a small rose bush, wrapped in brown paper and twine, from the Royal Horticultural Society’s president in the Windsor Castle gardens.
Keith Weed, president of the Royal Horticultural Society, said that the ceremony was “poignant,” adding that it was an honor to celebrate Philip’s “remarkable life” as an early conservationist.
“The duke’s devotion to raising public awareness of the importance of conserving the natural world leaves a lasting legacy,” Weed added.
Prince Edward, the youngest son of Philip and the Queen, said that he would have “loved” the chance for Philip to be able to experience his 100th birthday, even if his late father didn’t.
“He didn’t really want all the fuss and bother,” Edward said. “I think he wasn’t really looking forward to the centenary, even if we were.”
Edward then talked about his father’s funeral, describing it as an “extraordinary” but “strange” day given the restrictions that were in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everybody will have their own memories,” Edward said. “He was that sort of larger-than-life person. Once met, never forgotten.”
In the two months since Philip passed away at the age of 99 after being married to the Queen for 73 years, she has been quietly coping with the loss at Windsor Castle.
“There were some things they had to deal with together that were difficult, but it was a long marriage with a great deal of happiness,” said Charles Anson, former press secretary to the Queen. “He took very seriously his role as a support for the Queen as monarch.”
Anson went on to say that the Queen has been surrounded by her family in the wake of Philip’s death.
“She has an enormous amount of family support for her and will also take comfort from the enormity of the support from all over the world,” he said.