Queen marks late Prince Philip's 100th birthday; son says Philip 'wasn't looking forward' to it
The monarch watched the Duke of Edinburgh Rose planted in the Windsor Castle gardens last week to commemorate Philip's centenary Thursday.
She was pictured smiling as she accepted the small rose bush, wrapped in brown paper and twine, from the Royal Horticultural Society's president.
The rose, which is deep pink and dappled with white lines, was newly bred following Philip's death on April 9 at Windsor Castle.
Keith Weed, president of the Royal Horticultural Society, said the presentation was "poignant" and also a delight as an opportunity to remember the duke's "remarkable life" as an early conservationist.
"The duke’s devotion to raising public awareness of the importance of conserving the natural world leaves a lasting legacy,” Weed said in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace.
The queen, whose gardens, especially at Buckingham Palace, are considered sublime by a nation of avid gardeners, is patron of the Royal Horticultural Society.
For every rose sold, the company Harkness Roses will donate 2.50 pounds ($3.50) to a fund aiming to help a million more young people from all backgrounds take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards, a popular youth award program set up by Philip in 1956.
In an interview with the BBC broadcast Thursday, 57-year-old Prince Edward, Philip's youngest child, said the royal family would have “loved” the chance for Philip to be able to experience his centenary, even if his late father didn’t.
“He didn’t really want all the fuss and bother,” Edward said. “I think he wasn’t really looking forward to the centenary, even if we were.”
Reflecting on his father’s funeral amid the pandemic, Edward said it was an “extraordinary” but “strange” day given the restrictions that were in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everybody will have their own memories,” Edward said. “He was that sort of larger-than-life person. Once met, never forgotten.”
Philip, who was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 – five years before she became queen at age 25.
Philip was a member of the exiled Greek royal family and a descendant of Danish, German and British royals. Like the queen, he was a great-great grandchild of Queen Victoria.
Their marriage lasted 73 years, making Philip Britain's longest-serving royal consort. The queen has called her husband her "strength and stay" in public.
He devoted his life to royal service, taking on tens of thousands of engagements and accompanying the queen on official visits to some 140 countries.
He retired from royal duties in 2017, at age 96.