It's been over two months since Prince Philip's sad passing in April. The 99-year-old royal died of old age on 9 April at Windsor Castle, and 30 of his family and closest aides were present at his funeral the following week.
This week, the Duke of Edinburgh would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Queen Elizabeth marked the poignant occasion by planting a rose in her late husband's honour, and Prince Philip's granddaughter Princess Eugenie posted an emotional tribute to him on Instagram. But that wasn't the only way the monarchy honoured the Duke of Edinburgh on what would have been his centenary; the Queen also made a very thoughtful gesture to three of Philip's closest aides.
Her Majesty has recognised the service of her husband's most trusted, long-serving aides by honouring them each with a form of knighthood. Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, who was the Duke of Edinburgh's private secretary for many years, has been made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) by Queen Elizabeth. William Henderson, the Duke's former page, has become a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO), and his valet David Berwick, who served 46 years for Prince Philip, has been made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).
The news comes after it was reported that some of the same aides were included in Prince Philip's will. Speaking to The Sun, a source who is allegedly close to Buckingham Palace said, "Prince Philip will be generous to the three men who looked after him... These include his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, his page William Henderson and valet Stephen Niedojadlo."
It's said that William Henderson was by Philip's side during his final days, while Miller-Bakewell is known to have stood in for the Duke when he was unable to attend events, reflecting the closeness and trust held between the pair. Buckingham Palace have neither confirmed or denied the reports of will allocations, but released a statement saying: "This is a personal matter for the family and as such arrangements are private."
We do know, however, that the Duke of Edinburgh did leave some personal items to one of his grandchildren, Lady Louise Windsor, in his will. It's reported that he left his youngest granddaughter, who has a keen interest in horse riding, his two Fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm. Prince Philip also reportedly left her his dark green four-wheeled carriage, which was used during his funeral on 17 April.
The royal family - and, no doubt close acquaintances such as these aides - have felt the loss of Prince Philip deeply. During a speech after his father's death, Prince Charles described the noticeably empty seat at his family's table that remains. "This year so many families, like my own, will have an empty seat at their dinner table," he said.
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