Prince William and Kate lead birthday messages to 'grandpa' Prince Philip as he turns 99

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent

Prince William and his wife Kate have led birthday messages to his grandfather as Prince Philip turns 99.

Prince Philip is celebrating his 99th birthday in Windsor Castle where he has been with the Queen since the middle of March.

Wishing William’s grandfather a happy birthday, Kensington Royal shared a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge with him at a lunch for the Queen’s 90th birthday, and one of the Duke of Cambridge laughing as they watch the Rugby World Cup final in Twickenham five years ago.

They wrote: “Wishing a very happy 99th Birthday to The Duke of Edinburgh!”

Prince Charles delved deeper into the family archives for his birthday message to his father.

Charles shared a picture of him as a child with his father in a boat at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, which was taken back in 1957.

He also shared a newer image of Charles and Philip as they listened to speeches before a statue of the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was unveiled whilst on a visit to the town of Poundbury in 2016.

Charles admitted last week that he has been missing his father during lockdown, saying he wanted to give his family members a hug.

And Princess Eugenie shared pictures at her wedding to Jack Brooksbank as she wished her grandfather happy birthday.

She wrote: “Grandpa, we wish you a special day.. and may all grandparents celebrating birthdays in lockdown have a wonderful time.”

Buckingham Palace shared a new photo of the Queen and Philip late on Tuesday night which showed them in the quadrangle in Windsor Castle, with the round tower in the background.

The photo is the first time Philip has been seen in public this year, as he hadn’t been spotted since leaving private hospital on Christmas Eve 2019.

The Royal Family’s account also shared a selection of pictures of the duke, mostly in his younger years.

It included one in his naval uniform and another on the balcony with the Queen on the day of her coronation.

The last image showed the Queen presenting the duke with the Order of New Zealand in Buckingham Palace in 2013.

The post included: “His Royal Highness turns 99 today and will spend the day with The Queen at Windsor.”

Prince Charles with his father the Duke of Edinburgh at the wheel, as they take a motor boat ride up the River Medina at Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1957. (PA Images)
Philip and Charles in Poundbury in 2016. (Getty Images)

Read more: Prince Philip's 99th birthday marked with new lockdown photo with the Queen

Philip retired from public duties in 2017 having clocked up hundreds of visits over the years as the longest-serving royal consort.

His birthday will be a low-key affair, said to be marked simply by a lunch with the Queen.

According to The Daily Telegraph, being able to spend this time together will mean a lot to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Author Philip Eade wrote: “The fact that they will be celebrating his 99th birthday quietly a deux at Windsor, after a rare three months alone together, ought to be a source of great happiness to them both.”

Prince Phillip and Prince William at the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium. (Getty Images)
Kate with Philip and Peter Phillips in the Royal Box for the Patron's Lunch in 2016. (PA Images)

Read more: Exclusive: No gun salutes for Prince Philip's birthday amid coronavirus pandemic

Earlier this week, Yahoo UK revealed the gun salutes traditionally held for some Royal Family members on their birthdays would not be going ahead for Philip on Wednesday.

The practice has had to be postponed for several events, including the Queen’s real birthday, owing to the ongoing crisis.

The Duke of Edinburgh will have to rely on technology to stay in touch with his family on Wednesday and may well have video calls from William and Kate and their children in Norfolk, Charles and Camilla in Scotland, and Edward and Sophie, who are among the closest to them in Windsor.

While laws in England mean those in the same country could visit for a socially distanced picnic, the Queen and the duke would be unlikely to risk it having been so cocooned for the last 10 weeks.

He could also get a video call from Los Angeles where his grandson Prince Harry is living with his wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie.