Queen Elizabeth II has spoken out for the first time since the death of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, mourning the ‘extraordinary impact’ he left on the world and those who loved him.
Queen Elizabeth II is mourning the love of her life. After Prince Philip died at the age of 99 on April 9, the British royal paid tribute to her husband of over 73 years with a heartbreaking statement honoring his life and legacy. “I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate,” the British monarch wrote in a statement on Apr. 21 (per PEOPLE). “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.”
“My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days,” added the Queen. “We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”
Prince Philip’s death came after a three-week stay in the hospital for an undisclosed infection. In a statement two weeks into his medical emergency, Buckingham Palace informed the public that the prince would be transferred to another hospital for evaluation of a pre-existing heart condition; they did not elaborate further on either illness.
Days before his death, the Duke of Edinburgh’s daughter-in-law, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, told Sky News that his condition was “slightly improving” and that his treatment “hurts at moments.” The week prior, his son Prince Edward said that his father was “looking forward to getting out” of the hospital. “We’ve had some brilliant and lovely messages from all sorts of people, and we really appreciate that, and so does he,” he told reporters. “I’ve been passing them on. It’s fantastic, thank you.”
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip met in 1937 when they were just children. Years later, they would reunite and start a romance that would go down in history books. They got engaged in 1947 and married in November of that year. At the time, a writer for the Guardian said of the union that it was “clearly a marriage of choice, not of arrangement.” Their 73-year marriage proved just that.
They were the proud parents of four children and eight grandchildren, including Prince Harry and Prince William. Our thoughts are with the entire royal family during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.