Mourning Queen to mark 95th birthday without Prince Philip at her side

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·5 min read

Watch: Mourning Queen to mark birthday without Philip for first time during reign

The Queen is to mark her 95th birthday this week – her first birthday without her husband Prince Philip.

Philip died on 9 April, with his funeral held in Windsor Castle last Saturday. The Queen remains in a period of royal mourning until 22 April.

That means she will mark her 95th birthday on Wednesday (21 April) while she and her family are still officially in mourning.

In recent years, the Queen has spent her birthdays privately and this year will be particularly poignant for Her Majesty.

Royal mourning means that limited events and engagements are taken on by the royals, with black armbands worn, and black or dark clothing.

Any correspondence sent from the Palace will be on black edged paper.

File photo dated 21/04/65 of the Duke of Edinburgh (left) with Queen Elizabeth II holding Prince Edward, surrounded by their family (right to left) Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Charles, on Queen Elizabeth II's 39th birthday. The Duke of Edinburgh has died, Buckingham Palace has announced. Issue date: Friday April 9, 2020.. See PA story DEATH Philip. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
The Queen holding Prince Edward, with Prince Philip and their family (right to left) Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Charles, on her 39th birthday in 1965. (PA Wire)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the Royal Bentley at the funeral for her husband, Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. - Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99 just weeks after a month-long stay in hospital for treatment to a heart condition and an infection. (Photo by LEON NEAL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen arrives at the funeral for her husband Prince Philip. (Leon Neal/AFP)

Read more: William and Harry walk apart behind Philip's coffin – 23 years after walking behind Diana's

It's also unlikely that there will be a portrait of the Queen released for her birthday this year. In 2020, never before seen footage of the Queen was shared by the Royal Collection Trust.

In years gone by, photographs of the Queen and her family have been shared on her birthday.

This year's birthday celebrations are not just impacted by the death of Prince Philip.

Ongoing coronavirus restrictions continue to have an affect on what the Queen can do and how her birthday is marked. 

For a second year in a row no gun salutes will be fired from the Royal Parks. The annual tradition, by the King's Horse Artillery, usually takes place in Hyde Park and the Tower of London but the restrictions mean they have had to be called off.

RETRANSMITTING AMENDING EMBARGO TIME TO 2200 FRIDAY APRIL 16 MANDATORY CREDIT: The Countess of Wessex. Not for use after December 31, 2021. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use including, for example, calendars, books and supplements). This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. The photograph must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. The photograph shall not be used after 31st December 2021, without prior permission from Buckingham Palace. Any questions relating to the use of the photograph should be first referred to Buckingham Palace before publication. Handout image released by Buckingham Palace on 16/04/21 of a personal photograph of the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the top of the Coyles of Muick, taken by The Countess of Wessex in 2003. Issue date: Friday April 16, 2021.
The Queen released a personal photograph her and the Duke of Edinburgh at the top of the Coyles of Muick, before the funeral. It was taken by The Countess of Wessex in 2003. (Countess of Wessex)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) and her husband Prince Philip attend the Maundy Service at Westminster Abbey on April 21, 2011, on the occasion of the Queen's 85th birthday. AFP PHOTO/ARTHUR EDWARDS/POOL (Photo credit should read ARTHUR EDWARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen's 85th birthday (2011) fell on Maundy Thursday and they went to a service at Westminster Abbey. (Arthur Edwards/AFP via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21:  Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh meet with well wishers on April 21, 2006 in Windsor, England. HRH Queen Elizabeth II is taking part in her traditional walk in the town to celebrate her 80th Birthday. In the evening the Prince of Wales will host a private party for The Queen and other members of the Royal family at Kew Palace.(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
In 2006, she and Philip met with well wishers on her 80th Birthday. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

With the exception of Prince Philip's funeral on 17 April, there have not been any gun salutes for more than a year - since the UK went into lockdown in March 2020.

It's reported the Queen may be able to have lunch with some members of her family on Wednesday, which could include the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who live nearby.

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said in 2020 that Prince Philip used to bring his wife flowers on her birthday, often white as those are some of her favourites.

She included white roses in the bouquet which sat on top of his coffin during his funeral.

The Queen is often in Windsor if she is not on tour over her birthday, because she stays there for Easter Court. Her April birthday means she is still there around the same time.

In some years, her birthday has fallen more directly around the Easter weekend, with her 85th birthday coinciding with Maundy Thursday. She and Philip attended a service at Westminster Abbey. 

With many a walkabout under her belt, and a red box of government papers to respond to every day, her real birthday has not always meant a day off.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C, top) watches women make South Korean's main side dish Kimchi as she visits a 400-year-old traditional house in the village of Hahoe, Andong province, 268 kilometers southeast of Seoul, 21 April 1999. South Korean aristocrat Ryu Yong-Ha, (R, top) the village chief, who is resisting changes to the country's millenia-old culture, didn not allow the Queen into his main living room which is strictly reserved for men. He disapproved of his relatives' plan to break with tradition and offer the monarch a birthday feast which he views as a demeaning publicity stunt.  AFP PHOTO/CHOO YOUN-KONG (Photo credit should read CHOO YOUN-KONG/AFP via Getty Images)
In 1999 she was in South Korea, on an engagement with women making South Korean's main side dish Kimchi in a 400-year-old traditional house in the village of Hahoe, Andong province. (Choo Youn-Kong/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) and his mother Britain's Queen Elizabeth II join the performers on stage during The Queen's Birthday Party concert on the occassion of Her Majesty's 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 21, 2018. (Photo by Andrew Parsons / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREW PARSONS/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles and the Queen with performers on stage during The Queen's Birthday Party concert for Her Majesty's 92nd birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018. (Andrew Parsons/AFP)

Read more: Queen's friend and former horse adviser died on day of Prince Philip's funeral

In previous years, the Queen has sometimes taken on an engagement or been on royal tour on her birthday.

In 1954 she was in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) on her birthday, and in 1988 she was in Australia. In 1999 she and the Duke of Edinburgh were in South Korea.

For her 92nd birthday, a concert was held in Royal Albert Hall. Prince Philip did not attend as he had already retired from public life.

According to the Telegraph, she was not keen for anything too big on her birthday this year, even before the Duke of Edinburgh's death, as she wanted to keep the focus on his 100th which was due to be on 10 June.

There is likely to be a post on the Royal Family social media on 21 April, to note the day. 

Last year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge used a throwback picture to wish the Queen a happy birthday on their Instagram account. They may choose to avoid a public post this year.

Watch: Queen Elizabeth's birthday won't be marked by gun salute