Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 95th birthday with a tribute to her late husband. On April 21, she released a statement in honor of Prince Philip, thanking everyone for their messages and tributes in the wake of his passing.
"I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate," read the statement released on the Royal Family social media pages. "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."
She continued, "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."
On the morning of April 9, the Royal Family announced on their website and social media pages that Prince Philip had sadly passed away at the age of 99. According to their statement, the Duke of Edinburgh "peacefully" passed away at Windsor Castle on April 9.
"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the statement read. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
On April 14, the Royal Family Instagram page posted the sweetest, never-before-seen photo of Prince Philip with his great-grandchildren. The adorable family portrait, taken by Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, shows Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip smiling next to the younger royals.
"The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh surrounded by seven of their great-grandchildren at Balmoral Castle in 2018," the post was captioned. Two of the monarch's great-grandchildren—Princess Eugenie's son, August, and Zara Tindall's son, Lucas—are missing from the photo, since they weren't born yet when the portrait was taken. According to People, the two youngest royals both have Philip as one of their middle names to honor their great-grandfather. Of course, there's also another great-grand baby on the way who didn't make the photograph.
In another tribute post shared by the Royal Family Instagram account, we see another never-before-seen photo of Prince George and Princess Charlotte with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge next to their great grandparents, the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
On April 12, Prince William and Prince Harry both shared touching tributes to honor their late grandfather.
Prince William shared a message accompanied by a never-before-seen photo of his son Prince George and the Duke of Edinburgh. “My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family,” he wrote.
“I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days. I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!
My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”
Prince Harry also shared a personal message to honor Prince Philip, thanking his grandfather for his years of service and his devotion to Queen Elizabeth. “My grandfather was a man of service, honour, and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.
He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince, and a Duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.
He has been a rock for Her Majesty the Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, “Oh do get on with it!”
So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered—by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts. 'Per Mare, Per Terram.'"
On April 14, Princess Eugenie also took to her Instagram to share a sweet tribute to her late grandfather.
"Dearest Grandpa," she wrote. "We all miss you. You would be so touched by all the tributes that have been shared with me the past few days.
People remember sitting next to you at a dinner, or shaking your hand once, who remember you saying hello in passing, or remember how much their DofE award meant to them.
I remember learning how to cook, how to paint, what to read. I remember laughing at your jokes and asking about your spectacular life and service in the navy.
I remember incinerating the sausages and you swooping in to save the day.
I remember your hands and your laugh and your favourite beer.
I will remember you in your children, your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Thank you for your dedication and love for us all and especially Granny, who we will look after for you.
With all my love
The rest of the family paid tribute to the Duke in different ways. Some members changed their social media profile pictures to honor him. The Royal Family Instagram account, as well as Kensington Royal (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) and Clarence House (Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles), have made their avatars to black-and-white crests. All three accounts also posted the black-and-white photo and statement from above.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also honored Prince Philip on their Archewell website. The foundation's website is temporarily unavailable with only a tribute page to him. "In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh," it reads. "Thank you for your service ... you will be greatly missed."
Prince Harry returned to London for his grandfather’s funeral, which was held on April 17 at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. It marked the first time he returned to the U.K. in over a year, and also the first time he reunited with his family following his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah. Meghan did not attend the funeral as she "has been advised by her physician not to travel," according to a royal spokesperson.