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Queen Elizabeth shares somber message of gratitude on 95th birthday

The queen's husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, died less than two weeks before her 95th birthday.
/ Source: TODAY

Queen Elizabeth shared a message to her well-wishers as she marked her 95th birthday on Wednesday.

“I have on the occasion of my 95th birthday today received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate,” the longest-reigning British monarch said in a statement shared on the royal family’s official Twitter account.

The queen’s birthday comes less than two weeks after the death of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years, on April 9 at age 99. His funeral took place on Saturday, attended by 30 family members and close friends.

“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 around the world,” the queen said in her statement.

“My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days,” she continued. “We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”

Due to the recent death of Prince Philip, the queen’s birthday will be a subdued affair this year. She will remain at Windsor Castle “during a period of Royal Mourning following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh,” the royal family said in another recent tweet.

The British sovereign will also forgo the traditional gun salute that usually takes place in honor of her birthday, according to British paper The Telegraph. She skipped the gun salute last year, as well, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the queen’s real birthday is on April 21, the British sovereign's birthday is publicly celebrated every year in June at an event called Trooping the Colour. It historically has involved a parade of more than 1,400 soldiers that the queen and other members of the royal family watch from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Last year, Trooping the Colour was canceled due to the pandemic. This year, the parade will once again not happen in its traditional form, but alternate options are still being considered.