The Queen has made an emotional and moving tribute to her husband of nearly 70 years, thanking her darling Prince for his years of love, support and service.
Fighting back tears, Her Majesty spoke of her ‘deep affection and gratitude’ towards His Royal Highness Prince Philip as news broke of his historic retirement from royal duties ahead of his 96th birthday.
Last week, the palace announced that the Duke of Edinburgh would be stepping down as of August – prompting the Queen’s touching reaction.
‘When Her Majesty announced that His Royal Highness would be stepping down from all royal duty, she was clearly emotional,’ a palace source tells New Idea.
‘In front of her trusted aides, she revealed their decision. She took the moment to pay tribute to Philip, telling him “Thank you, my darling” as she spoke of her deep affection, love and gratitude for her husband. She said that he was her tower of strength and she wouldn’t have got through her 65 years on the throne without him.
‘There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when she finished speaking – it was an emotional time for the Queen and Prince Philip.’
Shortly after the Queen’s moving tribute, the palace issued their official statement.
‘His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year,’ the statement read. ‘The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated... He will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.’
Royal historians have noted how unusual it is for the palace to make such a grand statement about the Duke’s retirement, given that he’s not a reigning monarch. But palace insiders reveal the Queen insisted on the dramatic announcement.
‘The Queen was insistent that Prince Philip’s life of service be celebrated,’ says the source.
Palace sources confirm to New Idea that Prince Charles, 68, Prince William, 34, and wife Kate, 35, were the first to hear of Prince Philip’s decision to retire.
It’s believed Wills and Kate will now take on even more royal responsibility – attending many of Prince Philip’s appearances.
‘Kate and William have vowed to step up and do more royal duties, telling Prince Philip and the Queen: “We will make you proud,”’ says the source.
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
You might also like...