Prince Philip heartbreak: Why Duke may be sad to mark this milestone at Windsor Castle

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Prince Philip will be 99 on June 10 and is expected to spend his special day at Windsor Castle with the Queen. While the Duke of Edinburgh has been mostly based in Norfolk since his retirement in 2017, he was helicoptered down to Windsor from Sandringham in March.

Prince Philip stepped back from public life at the age of 96 and has enjoyed a peaceful retirement at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate.

Queen Elizabeth II is said to support her husband’s decision to be mainly based in Norfolk during his retirement and is understood to be of the belief that he deserved a hard-earned rest.

For much of the year, the Queen is based at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and it is not rare for her and Philip to spend weeks or months apart.

The royal couple, who have been married for 74 years, usually reunite for family events such as royal weddings and spend time together during the Queen’s Christmas, Easter and Summer breaks.


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Every year Philip and the Queen spend two weeks together in a secluded cottage on the Queen’s Aberdeenshire Balmoral Estate ahead of hosting guests throughout the summer.

The Queen has described Philip as her “strength and stay” and they will find comfort in being together during the current crisis.

While the Duke will, without doubt, be glad to be with his wife during the ongoing pandemic, part of him may pine for the familiar peace and quiet of Wood Farm as he marks his 99th birthday.

While Prince Philip retired from public life in 2017, the current crisis prompted him to re-enter the limelight with a powerful statement to key workers and NHS staff in April.

The Duke of Edinburgh said: “As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from Covid-19.

“On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working on food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected.”

Prince Philip is the Queen’s most trusted confidant and he is said to influence her speeches to this day.

Following the Queen’s first coronavirus address to the nation in April, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said: “The Duke is with the Queen at Windsor and both are practising virtual self-isolation.


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“She will be delighted to be with him over this testing period and he will undoubtedly have been consulted about the content of this historic broadcast.”

He added: “Those watching will have been aware that the monarch is 94 this month and her beloved ‘strength and stay’, the Duke of Edinburgh is 99 in June which makes them extremely vulnerable.

“There is enormous affection for them both.

“I feel that people will respond to her tributes to the emergency services and the need to fight this deadly disease together, ‘united and resolute’.”

Both Philip and the Queen are in their 90s and are at high risk from coronavirus COVID-19.

The couple will behave in accordance with Government guidance and will not relocate from Windsor Castle until it is deemed safe for them to do so.

While there has been speculation as to whether the coronavirus threat could push the Queen into retirement, one royal commentator has claimed it is unlikely.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told “The Queen is carrying out her duties in line with government guidance during a time of unprecedented crisis.”

“The nation I feel sure wants her to continue doing so so long as she is able to discharge her duties as she swore to do in her famous 1947 broadcast and also to show that age is no barrier when you have sagacity and experience, as she unquestionably has.”

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