Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and Prince Philip, 98, have been married for 72 years and the Queen has described the Duke of Edinburgh as her “strength and stay.” Since Philip’s retirement from public life in 2017 the couple have spent more time apart as the Duke enjoys his retirement at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate.
Prince Philip was helicoptered down from Norfolk to join the Queen at Windsor Castle ahead of the UK being placed under lockdown in March.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s is still the Queen’s main confidant and she continues to trust his sage advice especially during times of crisis.
While the Queen and Philip with be comforted by one another’s company during this time of national turmoil, the Queen may wish for different circumstances.
The Queen has dedicated 68 years to serving the Crown and her royal duties have been severely limited due to the ongoing pandemic.
Her annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, investitures and audiences have all been cancelled due to coronavirus.
As have many of the Queen’s scheduled royal visits and ceremonial events including her official birthday celebrations, Trooping the Colour which are held every March.
The Queen’s favourite week of the year, Royal Ascot races was called off in June and it remains unclear when her schedule will be able to return to normal.
While she will no doubt be glad to have Philip at her side amid the pandemic, the Queen like many Britons may be looking forward to better days to come.
Prince Philip dedicated more than six decades to serving the Crown and the Queen is understood to feel he deserves to enjoy the peace and quiet of Wood Farm following his retirement.
The Duke’s presence at Windsor Castle means he has to some extent been dragged back out of retirement and into the royal running of things.
Prince Philip issues his first public statement in years earlier this month when he sent a heartfelt message to frontline works battling the coronavirus.
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.”
The Duke’s statement continued: “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.”
The Queen addressed Britons in a televised speech at the start of April in which issued a message of hope.
The Queen evoked Vera Lynn’s wartime anthem “We’ll Meet Again” when she said: “We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.
“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.
“But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”
The Queen will address the nation for a second time to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on May 8.
VE marks the date on which Europe celebrated victory over Nazi Germany at the end of the Second World War and next Friday is a special milestone.
While celebrations for the anniversary have been pared back amid lockdown the Queen will still give a speech.
The message will be broadcast by the BBC at 9pm on May 8.