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.
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."
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.
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.”