Prince William and Kate Middleton led royal tributes to Prince Philip on his 99th birthday.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in sharing a selection of their favourite photos of the Duke of Edinburgh on social media to mark the occasion.
Highlights include a candid shot of Prince William, 37, sharing a joke with his grandfather at the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and a childhood photo of Prince Charles riding on a motorboat with his father on the Isle of Wight in 1957.
The Duke of Edinburgh is spending the day privately with the Queen at Windsor Castle, although they are expected to video call other members of the family including Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie, who will phone from their home in Los Angeles, according to royal reporter Carolyn Durand, who contributes to Oprah Magazine.
Buckingham Palace last night released a new photograph of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to mark the milestone. The couple, who have been married for 73 years, were photographed last week standing side-by-side in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle. The Queen and Prince Philip have been in isolation at the residence since the start of lockdown, allowing them to spend more time together than they have done in ‘many years’, one expert noted.
Today the official Royal Family Instagram account shared further photos of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh taken throughout the years, including one of Prince Philip in his naval uniform and a second of the couple on their royal visit to Canada in 1951.
Granddaughter Princess Eugenie shared a sweet birthday message to her ‘grandpa’, alongside photos from her wedding.
Charities, military regiments and members of the public also took to social media to share their well-wishes and posted congratulatory posts on Instagram and Twitter.
The Queen’s family album: Royal Family shares favourite snaps of Prince Philip to mark his 99th birthday
The Royal Family Instagram account, which shares the work of the Queen and senior royals including the Earl and Countess of Wessex, shared a series of touching family photos this morning to mark Prince Philip’s 99th birthday.
The images date back to the Duke of Edinburgh’s days as a young naval officer and focus on the life he has shared with Her Majesty. Among them is a photo of Prince Philip with the then Princess Elizabeth on the royal tour of Canada in 1951.
The only other family member to feature in the personal album is their eldest son, Prince Charles.
The photos were shared on the social media platform alongside a short message reading: ‘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.’
The Duke of Edinburgh has spent much of his retirement at his cottage, Wood Farm, in the sanctuary of the Sandringham estate, more than 100 miles away from the Queen, who was usually at Buckingham Palace or at Windsor.
But they were reunited at the Berkshire castle three months ago for their safety after Philip was flown there by helicopter on March 19 ahead of lockdown.
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: ‘This must be the longest they’ve been under the same roof for many years, I would say. But it’s an opportunity for them in their later years to reconnect.’
He added: ‘It is the perfect royal cocooning.’
Royal expert Camilla Tominey agreed it is ‘arguably’ the most amount of time the Queen has spent with her husband in recent years. Speaking on This Morning today she said: ‘They’re there for the foreseeable future. It’s quite nice in a way that they are together when they wouldn’t have normally been this time of year.’
She added that next year the Queen will send Prince Philip a telegram for his 100th birthday. ‘They are planning tentatively the 100th birthday celebration, of course, she’ll give him a telegram that’s what she does when people turn 100,’ Camilla said.
Britain wishes Prince Philip a happy 99th birthday: Social media users unite to share their well-wishes
Military regiments, charities, royal experts and members of the public have taken to Twitter and Instagram to share their personal well-wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh on his 99th birthday.
Prince Philip will celebrate the day privately with the Queen at Windsor Castle but social media users did not want him to miss out on the public wishes.
Here, a selection of the posts shared this morning
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are staying with a reduced household of around 20 staff, dubbed Operation HMS Bubble, and Mr Little said the monarch and Philip most likely have lunch or dinner together each day while spending other time on their separate interests.
Philip keeps himself busy reading, writing and painting, and even released a rare public statement in April – his first since his retirement – praising key workers and those making sure that essential services are kept running during the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as enjoying riding her fell ponies in Windsor Home Park, the Queen – the nation’s longest reigning monarch – has her official duties to deal with, including her red boxes of papers and regular telephone audiences.
The royal couple have been pictured at Windsor throughout the years including in the grounds of the castle more than 60 years ago in 1959, accompanied by Sugar, one of the many royal corgis.
The success of the Queen and Philip’s long-lasting marriage has often been put down to their differing personalities.
‘The Queen is a much more laid-back character, while the duke has never suffered fools gladly,’ Mr Little said.
‘The Queen is much less confrontational so I suppose they are opposites in many ways but clearly the chemistry has worked for them as they are now in the 73rd year of marriage so that itself is quite remarkable.’
The royal commentator added that the Queen and duke had admitted tolerance is essential for their happy marriage.
‘As they have said publicly at times of wedding anniversaries, it’s tolerance in abundance and plenty of patience as well,’ Mr Little explained.
‘I suppose for them perhaps it’s always been a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder. They would go through periods of not really seeing much of each other.’
He added: ‘They will make a fuss of him on Wednesday, as much as you can make a fuss of the Duke of Edinburgh.’
The romance of Prince Philip of Greece and Princess Elizabeth sprang out of a summer encounter at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939.
Philip, who was just 18, was introduced to 13-year-old Elizabeth, who was visiting with her parents, King George Vi and Queen Elizabeth.
Handsome, blond-haired, athletic Philip caught Lilibet’s eye as he entertained her by jumping over tennis nets, and the young princess was smitten.
The pair, who are distant cousins, maintained a regular correspondence and met on several more occasions, with Philip later spending Christmas with the royals at Windsor in 1943.
But, by the end of the war, newspapers were already speculating about their romance, and their engagement was confirmed after the princess turned 21 and returned from a royal tour to South Africa.
Philip applied for British nationality and in February 1947 became a naturalised British subject, renouncing his Greek royal title, adopting the surname of Mountbatten and becoming known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.
The couple married in Westminster Abbey on November 20 1947.
While on honeymoon, Philip wrote to tell his mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, of his deep love for his new wife.
‘Lilibet is the only ‘thing’ in the world which is absolutely real to me and my ambition is to weld the two of us into a new combined existence that will not only be able to withstand the shocks directed at us but will have a positive existence for the good,’ he said.
Philip has devoted his married life to supporting his wife, giving up his successful naval career to be by her side when the King’s health grew worse.
On the Queen’s accession, the duke watched her become the single most important woman in the country.
But Lord Charteris, the Queen’s former private secretary, once recalled: ‘Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being.
‘He’s the only man who can. Strange as it may seem, I believe she values that.’
In 2007, the couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary by travelling to Malta, where they had lived for a short time as a young couple.
In 2012, they marked their blue sapphire anniversary – 65 years – and in 2017 passed the rare, personal milestone of 70 years of marriage – their platinum wedding anniversary.
The only man who calls the Queen ‘cabbage’: From the night he sneaked into Clarence House after a boozy blowout, to his fondness for Mary Berry… here’s 99 things you’ll be amazed to learn about birthday boy Prince Philip
By Mark Mason for the Daily Mail
With the coronavirus pandemic putting paid to any plans for an extravagant family party, Prince Philip will celebrate his 99th birthday today with a modest lunch with the Queen at Windsor where the couple have been self-isolating.
So with the bunting still stowed away and a shortage of popping champagne corks, here Mark Mason pays tribute to a remarkable man — both as loyal consort and as an irascible, unique and much respected national treasure — with this entertaining collection of 99 facts about his life…
1 He used to subscribe to Flying Saucer Review, saying ‘there are many reasons to believe that they [UFOs] exist’.
2 His mother was profoundly deaf, so the young Philip learned sign language to communicate with her.
3 In 1963 he founded a ‘bagpiping’ trophy for the Pakistan Army.
4 The Prince loves TV cookery shows; Mary Berry is a particular favourite.
5 He was the first member of the Royal family to be interviewed on TV, in May 1961.
6 Driving fast on the way to his wedding rehearsal, Philip was stopped by a policeman. ‘I’m sorry, officer,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got an appointment with the Archbishop of Canterbury.’
7 During World War II he met a soldier who joked he was waiting for someone to die so he could get promoted. Philip replied: ‘Like me.’
8 In 1961 he received two pygmy hippos from the President of Liberia.
9 Legendary cricketer Don Bradman described Philip’s bowling action as ‘perfect’.
10 He was born on May 28 — adjusted to June 10 only when Greece (where he was born) adopted the Gregorian calendar.
11 He would hide a radio in his top hat at Royal Ascot so he could listen to the cricket.
12 The photo of him the teenage Princess Elizabeth kept beside her bed showed him with a full beard, so that Palace staff wouldn’t recognise the man she loved.
13 Philip is a self-confessed practitioner of ‘dontopedalogy — the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it’.
14 At the time of his wedding, to Princess Elizabeth he had the equivalent of 12p in the bank.
15 He operated a bulldozer while digging out a new water garden at Balmoral.
16 On a royal visit, Philip was told by one woman that she was 104 and her friend was 101. ‘I don’t believe you,’ he replied. ‘Women always take ten years off their age.’
17 In 2008, he gave his Savile Row tailor (John Kent of Kent, Haste and Lachter) a 52‑year-old pair of trousers to be altered.
18 None of his three surviving older sisters were invited to the 1947 royal wedding — they’d all married German princes, some with connections to the Nazis.
19 As a child, Prince Andrew refused to wear anything under his kilt — a habit he copied from his father.
20 Philip was forced to wear a kilt when wooing Princess Elizabeth at Balmoral. (Introduced to her father, George VI, Philip jokingly curtsied instead of bowing. The King was not amused.)
21 In 1972, he had the design of the new 50p coin altered so that it read ‘pence’ in full, saying: ‘I don’t like that little “p”.’
22 After one boozy night out, the Prince and his Private Secretary and friend Mike Parker were so late getting back to Clarence House (where Philip and the Princess were living) that they had to climb over the locked gates.
23 In 2007, he donated DNA as part of an investigation into identifying human remains found in a field in Yekaterinburg, Russia, believed to belong to the Romanovs, the Russian Royal Family executed by revolutionaries in 1916. (Philip is a grandnephew of the last Czarina, Alexandra, and a great-great-grandson of Czar Nicholas I.)
24 Asked on a Canadian tour whether he knew the Scilly Isles, he said: ‘My son owns them.’
25 His pet names for the Queen include ‘Cabbage’ and ‘Sausage’.
26 He was the first member of the Royal Family to fly himself out of Buckingham Palace in a helicopter.
27 While the Queen was in labour with Prince Charles, Philip played squash with Mike Parker.
28 Philip and the Queen were joined on their honeymoon by Susan — her corgi.
29 When a 1974 attempt to kidnap Princess Anne failed, Philip said that if the gunman had succeeded ‘Anne would have given him a hell of a time while in captivity’.
30 He promoted bicycle polo so those who couldn’t afford ponies might enjoy the sport.
31 Operation Forth Bridge is the plan for national mourning when he dies; Philip attended the actual bridge’s dedication in 1964.
32 He doesn’t like tea — he prefers black coffee.
33 When informed that a royal page had been sacked after being found in bed with a housemaid, Philip replied: ‘Sacked? They should have given him a medal!’
34 His staff affectionately call him ‘Father’ (though not to his face).
35 It was only when Philip questioned the custom of servants leaving a new bottle of whisky by the Queen’s bed every night that the reason was revealed. Queen Victoria had once asked for Scotch to combat a cold, and the order had never been rescinded.
36 The historian David Starkey describes him as ‘HRH Victor Meldrew’.
37 He has banned the Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson) from all royal residences when he’s present.
38 When practising for coverage of his death, TV broadcasters use the name ‘Mr Robinson’ instead of ‘Prince Philip’.
39 When he was 18 months old, his family were forced into exile by a military uprising in Greece, and Philip slept in a cot made from an orange box.
40 The family fled to France to live in a house lent to them by Philip’s aunt, Marie Bonaparte — a great-grandniece of Napoleon.
41 In 2011 he was voted ‘Consort of the Year’ by The Oldie magazine. His letter of acceptance admitted that ‘bits are dropping off the ancient frame’.
42 He spent some of his childhood in Germany and later said he could never take the Nazi salute seriously as ‘it was the exact same gesture that a schoolboy would give to a master indicating that he wanted to go to the lavatory’.
43 As a boy he would show off to visitors by standing on his head.
44 Once, when staying with an aunt, he released a herd of pigs to stampede though a formal tea party.
45 During the Battle of Matapan, on March 21, 1941, he was mentioned in dispatches for his control of the searchlights on board the Royal Navy ship HMS Valiant.
46 While serving on HMS Wallace in 1943, he had the idea of creating a decoy by throwing a wooden raft containing smoke floats into the water, to give the illusion (in the darkness) of burning debris, distracting enemy aircraft and allowing the ship to escape. As one colleague put it: ‘Prince Philip saved our lives that night.’
47 He was present in Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945.
48 His wedding gift to Princess Elizabeth was a bracelet he designed himself, using jewels from one of his mother’s tiaras.
49 His wedding present from George VI was a pair of Purdey shotguns.
50 Although a member of the House of Lords until 1999, he has never spoken there. (As husband of the monarch, it would be improper for him to do so.)
51 He insisted his wife’s Coronation in 1953 be televised — although the Queen Mother and Prime Minister Winston Churchill were opposed to it.
52 During a rehearsal for the Coronation, he was reprimanded by the Queen for saying his lines quickly and without feeling. ‘Don’t be silly, Philip,’ she said. ‘Come back here and do it properly.’
53 On the day of the Coronation, he asked his wife: ‘Where did you get that hat?’
54 He first met his future wife when she was eight, at the wedding of his cousin Princess Marina of Greece and the Duke of Kent.
55 His official livery colour is dark green, known as ‘Edinburgh Green’, which is used for his cars and his staff’s uniforms.
56 Following the death of the Queen’s father George VI in 1952, Philip reorganised the shoot at Sandringham and for many years achieved his target bag of 10,000 pheasants during the annual seven-week stay.
57 He gave up shooting in 2011. It was feared the gun’s recoil could dislodge a stent he had to remedy a heart problem.
58 He once ordered Palace staff to swap the chops they were having for their dinner for the lamb intended for him — he fancied the chops more.
59 He has moaned that his Buckingham Palace quarters are so far from the kitchens that his food is cold by the time he gets it.
60 He was furious when the fact that he and his wife have separate bedrooms became public knowledge following one of the worst security breaches in royal history — when loner Michael Fagan broke into the Queen’s room in 1982.
61 His pillows on the royal train are plain. (The Queen’s are lacy.)
62 As a pilot, he logged 5,986 hours in 59 types of aircraft.
63 His final flight was on August 11 1997, from Carlisle to Islay.
64 At breakfast on the morning of his wedding, he and his best man drank a gin and tonic.
65 At a conference about man-made fibres, Philip stroked his balding head and said: ‘I’m not very good at producing man-made fibres myself.’
66 He learned of George VI’s death in February 1952 before his wife, from a newspaper reporter in Kenya (where the couple were on tour).
67 He likes practical jokes. He once called the Air Ministry, played a tape of an air battle down the line and said: ‘Help! One of your pilots has gone berserk and he’s strafing the palace!’
68 He was born Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark.
69 The second time he met Princess Elizabeth was when she was 13 and he was 18. He impressed her by jumping over a tennis net.
70 The Queen dislikes the sound of ice cubes clinking in drinks, so Philip invented a machine that makes round ones, which are quieter.
71 He also liked to cook breakfast for himself and the Queen, especially omelettes, using an electric frying pan which travelled everywhere with him.
72 He has a personal library of 11,000 books.
73 He wanted his children to bear the surname Mountbatten, or possibly Edinburgh, but was overruled.
74 When Prince Charles was born, Philip said: ‘He looks like a plum pudding!’
75 Meeting Tom Jones after the 1969 Royal Variety performance, Philip asked: ‘What do you gargle with — pebbles?’
76 By marrying the Queen, he removed himself from the line of succession. As a descendant of Queen Victoria, Philip had a distant claim to the top job.
77 He would often comment on Windsor neighbour Elton John’s ‘ghastly’ car. A diehard fan of Watford FC, Elton painted it in the team’s colours — yellow, with a red and black stripe in the middle.
78 In 1997, Philip persuaded a reluctant Prince William and Prince Harry to walk behind the coffin at their mother’s funeral by saying: ‘If you like, I’ll walk with you.’
79 He once said: ‘When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.’
80 He has instructed the Dean of Windsor that sermons be no longer than 12 minutes.
81 In 2008, France’s First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was surprised and impressed by Philip’s ‘impeccable French’.
82 Told in Ghana that the country had 200 Members of Parliament, Philip replied: ‘That’s about the right number. We have 650 and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time.’
83 On car journeys with his children they would play a game of making sentences from car registration plates. Princess Anne once responded to ‘PMD’ with ‘Philip’s my dad!’
84 Even into his 90s, Philip continued to perform a 12-minute exercise routine created for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
85 Philip has eschewed a state funeral, to which he is entitled, and will have a private military-style commemoration in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. He wants to be buried in neighbouring Frogmore Gardens.
86 At Edward’s birth, Philip lightened the mood in the delivery room (a bathroom at Buckingham Palace) by saying: ‘Only a week ago, General de Gaulle was having a bath in this room’.
87 He likes oil painting. One critic said of his work: ‘Exactly what you’d expect — totally direct, no hanging about.’
88 He is the oldest ever male member of the Royal Family.
89 At an official photoshoot during the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (in 2015), he told a photographer: ‘Just take the f***ing picture.’
90 He is the oldest living great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
91 His nickname for a line-up of dignitaries in their ceremonial robes who would wait to receive him and the Queen at royal events was ‘the chain gang’.
92 When it was announced in May 2017 that he was retiring from public life, Philip said: ‘Standing down? I can barely stand up.’
93 He gave up smoking on the morning of his wedding — for his new bride. Princess Elizabeth had seen what cigarettes did to her father’s health.
94 On an early visit to Windsor Castle, he interrupted a courtier who tried to tell him about the building: ‘I know — my mother was born here,’ he said.
95 Asked why he joined the Navy rather than the Army, he replied: ‘I didn’t fancy walking much.’
96 As well as being the Duke of Edinburgh, he is also the Earl of Merioneth, as well as Baron Greenwich.
97 He loves his food — when everyone else on the Royal Yacht Britannia had retired to their cabins because of a severe storm, he insisted on having dinner. His violently seasick equerry had to sit with him.
98 Asked once about the secret of coping with public appearances, he replied: ‘I never pass up a chance to go to the loo.’
99 Offered a drink by a butler at the White House in 1979, Philip replied: ‘I’ll take one if you’ll let me serve you.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail