Manila Bulletin

Sombre mood as grieving Queen Elizabeth II turns 95


LONDON (AFP) -Queen Elizabeth II turns 95 on Wednesday, just days after burying her late husband Prince Philip, in what will be her first birthday alone in more than seven decades.

The birthday falls during a twoweek period of royal mourning following the April 9 death of the 99year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who was interred Saturday in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

The Queen, seen at the funeral for the first time since his death, cut a solitary figure due to coronaviru­s restrictio­ns, sitting alone in mourning black, with a white-trimmed, black face mask.

Close family, also masked, were forced to sit socially distanced in the historic 15th-century Gothic chapel during the 50-minute service attended by just 30 guests.

With the ongoing restrictio­ns curtailing socializin­g, her birthday -typically marked with a traditiona­l gun salute and the release of a new portrait — will be subdued this year.

Although the grieving monarch returned to public duties a few days after Philip’s passing, there are no plans to mark her birthday publicly.

She is expected to be at Windsor Castle, west of London, where she and the late duke had spent much of the last year shielding due to the pandemic.

“This is going to be a private day for her and that’s how it should be,” said Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine.

“I think she will be personally devastated by this, but I don’t think the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, is going to impact on her working role.

“There’s the public queen and there’s the private queen, and she’s great at being able to compartmen­talize.”


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