Prince Philip’s low-key 99th birthday: Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen will mark the milestone with a simple lunch at Windsor Castle
- Sources said there were no plans for a party to celebrate Prince Philip’s birthday
- He will instead have a simple lunch with the Queen and phone calls from family
- Philip has been in isolation at Windsor Castle with the Queen since before Easter
Prince Philip will celebrate his 99th birthday next week with nothing more fancy than a simple lunch with the Queen.
Royal sources have confirmed that there were no plans for a party to mark the occasion, even without the restrictions caused by coronavirus.
The Duke of Edinburgh is ‘characteristically taciturn’ about occasion and has opted, as is his habit, not to make a fuss, they say.
However, lockdown means there is no chance of his children dropping by to pass on birthday wishes in person next Wednesday.
Philip’s birthday will be marked by lunch with the Queen, as well as Zoom and telephone calls with family and friends
Philip has been in isolation at Windsor Castle with the Queen since before Easter – the longest period the couple have spent together there for as long as anyone can remember, an insider noted.
Since he retired in 2017, the duke has largely lived at Wood Farm on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, apart from brief visits to Windsor and a longer summer stay at Balmoral.
His birthday will be marked by lunch with the Queen, as well as Zoom and telephone calls with family and friends – including Prince Charles in Scotland, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk and Harry and Meghan in Los Angeles.
A small number of public birthday wishes will be released on social media by family members, while Buckingham Palace hopes to mark the occasion publicly in some small way, ‘depending on how His Royal Highness feels’.
Philip has been in isolation at Windsor Castle with the Queen since before Easter – the longest period the couple have spent together there for as long as anyone can remember, an insider noted
But the mantra of the day is very much ‘low key’.
‘He’s not one for fuss, as you know,’ a source said.
Philip’s cousin and childhood friend Myra Butter confirmed that he has always insisted on ‘no fuss, no bother’.
Lady Butter, 95 – who shares a great-great-grandfather, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, with Philip – said: ‘He has such an incredibly active mind. And he’s a great reader, so interested in things.
‘He’s got enormous knowledge and I am absolutely certain there must be a link between that and his long and healthy life. He’s such an enigma, really.
‘He has that thirst for knowledge. He still paints, he sees his horses and keeps abreast of everything in the news.’
Philip’s cousin and childhood friend Myra Butter confirmed that he has always insisted on ‘no fuss, no bother’
Philip has suffered several bouts of poor health in recent years and was in hospital just before Christmas but is said to be far better now, despite feeling the effects of his advancing years.
Lady Butter said: ‘The secret is that he just does everything he has previously done, but slower.
‘He still enjoys the greatest role of all, supporting the Queen. As for a party to celebrate turning 99? Goodness me, no! He never wants a fuss, ever!’
Her Majesty’s Coronation treat, a win at the races
By Lizzie Deane
Queen Elizabeth II rides Balmoral Fern, a 14-year-old Fell Pony, in Windsor Home Park over the weekend
She was pictured back in the saddle on one of her beloved fell ponies at the weekend.
Now the Queen has had a winner in one of the first horse races since the sport returned on Monday.
First Receiver carried the royal colours to victory in the 3.55 at Kempton Park yesterday – the 67th anniversary of the Coronation.
The three-year-old, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, won easily.
While no doubt there were celebrations at Windsor, the race took place before empty stands.
The Queen has bred thoroughbreds throughout her reign.
The 94-year-old was seen riding a pony named Balmoral Fern in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday, pictured – her first public appearance since lockdown began.
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