The Queen has spoken publicly about her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, for the first time following his death.
The duke “passed away peacefully” at Windsor Castle last April, and has since been publicly honoured by his children and adult grandchildren in moving BBC documentary Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers.
The hour-long programme, which looked back on Philip’s life, featured Prince William crediting his late grandfather for Norfolk “feeling like home”; as well as Princess Eugenie emotionally recalling the moment she introduced her newborn son, August Philip, to his namesake in the days before her grandfather’s death at the age of 99.
Her Majesty did not, however, appear in the documentary, and had not publicly spoken about her late husband until this weekend, when she paid tribute to him at the opening ceremony for the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament.
Appearing alongside Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay, on Saturday, the monarch recalled how she and Prince Philip shared a great love of Scotland, having spent almost every summer there during their marriage.
“I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country, and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here,” she said.
“It is often said that it is the people that make a place, and there are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we have seen in recent times.”
This summer saw the Queen make her first solo trip to Balmoral Castle in 73 years.
The sprawling Scottish estate is thought to have held special significance for the monarch and her late husband, as they spent part of their honeymoon there in 1947, and entertained countless important guests there throughout the years – from heads of state, to their children’s significant others.
Opening up about his grandparents’ special relationship in the BBC documentary, Prince Harry said, “The two of them together were just the most adorable couple. To me, knowing the cheekiness of him and knowing that behind what the world sees you have two individuals who were very much in love and both, from a very young age, have dedicated their life to service—that is an incredible bond between two people.”
He added, “More than anything I miss his humour. But I miss him more for my grandmother because I know how incredibly strong she was with him there. I also know that she’s going be OK without him.”
Our thoughts remain with Her Majesty the Queen.