Prince Philip marks 99th birthday in photograph with the Queen at Windsor Castle

10 June 2020, 08:26 | Updated: 10 June 2020, 08:31

Prince Philip is celebrating his 99th birthday
Prince Philip is celebrating his 99th birthday. Picture: PA
Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate his 99th birthday on Wednesday and has marked the milestone with an official photograph alongside the Queen.

The picture, which was taken in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, shows the Royals posing outside for the camera in celebration of his birthday.

Her Majesty wears a bright floral dress and the Cullinan V heart-shaped diamond brooch, while Philip, with his hands clasped behind his back, looks smart in a blazer, shirt and grey trousers, as well as a Household Division tie. 

The photograph, which has Windsor's Castle's famous tower standing tall in the background, is the first public image of the duke since he was seen leaving a private hospital on Christmas Eve last year,

He stayed over for four nights for treatment relating to an undisclosed but "pre-existing condition".

The image, which was taken last week, says as much about Philip's 72-year marriage to the head of state, who stands by her husband's side, as his birthday.

Famously described by the Queen as her "strength and stay" the duke enters his 100th year in lockdown with the monarch, but is still active and engaging with events during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have sent birthday wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh.

The couple'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.

Prince Philip and the Queen have been married for more than 70 years
Prince Philip and the Queen have been married for more than 70 years. Picture: PA

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have spent more time under the same roof together during lockdown than they have in many years, royal expert Joe Little has said.

The couple have been married for more than 70 years.

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 duke had been spending 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.

The Queen and the duke 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.

The Prince of Wales, Princess Eugenie, Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and The Duke of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade.
The Prince of Wales, Princess Eugenie, Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and The Duke of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade. Picture: PA

Mr Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said about their time shielding together at Windsor Castle: "It's an opportunity for them in their later years to reconnect... It is the perfect royal cocooning."

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 duke is the longest serving consort in British history and also the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch.

In a rare public message issued in April, Philip praised those tackling the coronavirus pandemic across the UK and keeping essential services running.

The comments, his first major statement since retiring in 2017, also recognised the "vital and urgent" medical and scientific work taking place.

Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the island of Corfu on June 10 1921 to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

His early years were marked by upheaval after the family went into exile following a military coup in Greece which overthrew Philip's uncle, King Constantine I.

He moved to England to stay with relatives and study at Cheam Prep School in 1928, before spending a year at Salem School in south Germany, then finally enrolling at Gordonstoun School in Morayshire.

Philip went on to join the Royal Navy and served with distinction during the Second World War.

Within five years, George VI had died and Princess Elizabeth had become Queen.

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