Birthday wishes for Philip from the royal family
By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter
The royals have congratulated the Duke of Edinburgh on his 99th birthday as he celebrates his milestone by spending the day with the Queen at Windsor Castle.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Kensington Royal social media account tweeted: “Wishing a very happy 99th Birthday to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh!”
The post included an image of William with his grandfather as they watched the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham in 2015, and one of Kate with Philip at the Patron’s Lunch celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall also wished the duke a “very happy 99th birthday”.
Their Clarence House account shared an image of a young Charles with his father in a motor boat at Cowes in 1957, and another of them together, smiling at one another, in Poundbury, Dorset in 2016.
The royal family have all been staying apart in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, and communicating via Zoom video calls, FaceTime and by phone, as they are expected to do for Philip’s birthday.
Charles is 500 miles away from Philip and the Queen, at Birkhall in Scotland with Camilla.
He spoke last week about not seeing the duke, saying in an interview with Sky News: “Well I haven’t seen my father for a long time.
“He’s going to be 99 next week, so yes, or my grandchildren or anything. I’ve been doing the FaceTime, is all very well but….”
He added: “Well it’s terribly sad, let alone one’s friends.
“But fortunately at least you can speak to them on telephones and occasionally do this sort of thing. But it isn’t the same, is it? You really want to give people a hug.”
The Queen and Philip’s other children, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, are all at their separate homes.
William and Kate are in Norfolk with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and one-year-old Archie are thousands of miles away in Los Angeles.
The duke famously does not like a fuss, so his birthday celebrations in the sanctuary of the Berkshire castle will be low key.
The monarchy’s official Instagram account said Philip would be spending the day with the Queen.
It posted a collection of photographs of the duke through the decades, including of Philip with Princess Elizabeth as proud parents with six month old Prince Charles in 1949, and as a young Naval commander in 1951.
The post read: “Wishing The Duke of Edinburgh a very happy birthday!
“His Royal Highness turns 99 today and will spend the day with the Queen at Windsor.”
Philip was photographed with the Queen to mark his birthday, in the sunshine at Windsor Castle, where they have been staying for the past 12 weeks.
The portrait was the first public image of the duke for nearly six months – he was last seen leaving hospital on Christmas Eve.
Philip retired from official duties in 2017 after decades of public service.
He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on the island of Corfu on June 10 1921, and has been married to the Queen for more than 70 years.