The Queen's ninety-fifth birthday is just days away, but it seems one royal won't be in attendance - and there's one pertinent reason why...
Safe to say, people are not happy with the news.
Now, it's been an undeniably difficult few weeks for the royal family.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away on April 9th at the age of ninety-nine.
In the hours after his death was announced, the future King of England, Prince Charles, spoke of his loss.
"My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that."
"As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously."
"He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow."
Following in his father's footsteps, Prince William penned a touching letter to his late grandfather.
Sharing it on Instagram alongside a picture of Prince Philip and great-grandson, Prince George, William wrote:
"My grandfather's century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family."
"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," he continued.
"I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job."
From his Santa Barbara home, Prince Harry quickly followed suit, issuing a personal statement on the Archewell Foundation website.
In the statement, titled "In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh," Harry wrote:
"My grandfather was a man of service, honor, and great humor. 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'"
But as for the Queen?
Well, her loss is simply unimaginable.
The Queen and Prince Philip had been married for an impressive seventy-four years.
Throughout her reign as Queen, Philip was always her main companion and confident.
And to make things even worse, Her Majesty was forced to sit alone at Philip's funeral over the weekend.
Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, the Queen had to sit alone in her pew, dressed head to toe in black.
People were left heartbroken over the photo of her sitting alone...
No one should have to go through this- Queen or otherwise. We’re human, not robots- the scientists & experts have us running around Orwell’s 1984 like sheep. Stay at home, get the vaccine, wear a mask, wash your hands- do all these things I agree; but for God’s sake, be human.— Anthony Perkins (@Spigzy) April 17, 2021
I’ve never seen her look so tiny, utterly heartbroken but so dignified. So proud to be British today, beautiful, respectful and dignified service.— Kathleen Humphries (@kat1601) April 17, 2021
No matter what your opinions are on the royals this picture is heartbreaking. Here in this moment she isn’t the queen of England .. she’s a lonely woman who’s lost the love of her life 💔 devastating— 🧚🏻💫 (@bow200206) April 17, 2021
Heartbreaking, but a truly personal and extremely emotional funeral. They got everything so right, military, music, readings what an amazing fun funeral car that carried the coffin. All family members did him proud 💔— Jane (@darcy2010_jane) April 17, 2021
Ah stop 💔— Gilly (@gillersss) April 17, 2021
God love her, regardless your opinion on the royals, there sits a lady who just lost her husband.
And loss is something we can all relate to.
Anyone else just wanting to give her a big cuddle? 😓💔— Catherine (@justcath7) April 17, 2021
But now, the plans for her upcoming birthday have been revealed.
The Queen turned ninety-five today (April 21st,) but the occasion will not be celebrated as usual, the palace has confirmed.
While the Queen and other family members often mark their birthdays by sharing new portraits with the public, there will not be a photo released this year.
Her public birthday celebrations will also be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trooping the Colour - the festivities held annually in June to mark the Queen's birthday, with the highlight being the royal family gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace - has been canceled for the second year in a row.
And it's been confirmed that Harry won't be in attendance.
In fact, it's believed he arrived home in California yesterday to be with his pregnant wife, Meghan.
Thankfully, the Queen is surrounded by her loyal staff and her 3 dogs at Windsor Castle...
And senior members of the royal family, like William and Kate, are expected to pay a visit over the weekend.
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