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Queen Elizabeth had a romantic birthday tradition with Prince Philip

Throughout their long union, the Duke of Edinburgh always celebrated his bride’s big day in a sweet way.
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Queen Elizabeth turns 95

April 21, 202102:33
/ Source: TODAY

It’s another notable day for the British royal family. Just a week and a half after the death of Prince Philip and only days after his funeral, his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, turns 95 Wednesday.

Of course, this year’s event will be different than past celebrations. This time, monarch is in mourning.

There will be no 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, no 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park and no 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. There will be no plans for the annual public celebration, Trooping the Colour, to take place in the months ahead. But those were all canceled last year, as well, due to the pandemic.

There is, however, one tradition that’s never been broken before. For the first time in more than 70 years, Queen Elizabeth won’t wake up to a flower from her husband on her birthday.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh hold hands as they leave a Service of Commemoration to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan at St Paul's Cathedral on March 13, 2015 in London.Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images

The Duke of Edinburgh, it seems, was a romantic who knew how to mark a special occasion — without exception.

In 1976, a story by UPI, set just before the queen's 50th birthday bash, noted that on “birthday morning the queen will find a flower on her breakfast tray," calling it "a token her husband never forgets."

In fact, if anything, Prince Philip only made the gesture grander as the years went by.

Last year, as Elizabeth approached her 94th birthday, Majesty magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward spoke to Sky News about the couple’s sweet tradition and said, "Prince Philip always brings her a beautiful bouquet of flowers."

Queen Elizabeth II is handed flowers by the Duke of Edinburgh as they are received by well-wishers in Uxbridge town center during their Golden Jubilee visit to Middlesex in 2002.PA Images via Getty Images

And, after 73 years of marriage, he always knew which blooms to get.

"I think she likes white flowers, and there's always some lily of the valley,” the royal expert mentioned. “She loves flowers, so that is what she will have.”

It's also what she made sure that Prince Philip had as he was laid to rest last Friday — his coffin covered in white flowers at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II watches as the coffin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is placed during his funeral at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.Jonathan Brady / Getty Images

In Seward's interview, she also noted that even though last year’s birthday celebration had to be streamlined for the queen, that it wouldn't have been a problem.

“I don't think the Queen will mind too much because, because she once said there are so many birthdays and so many anniversaries that ‘we as a family are only really inclined to celebrate every 10 years.’” And Seward added, “She is very much thinks of others rather than herself. She's got that wonderful sense of duty, and she's very humble."

Her majesty gave proof of that once again Wednesday with a message she shared on social media that spoke more of Philip’s death than her own special day.

“I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate,” she wrote.

“While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and round the world. My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”