Queen Elizabeth II commemorated her late husband, Prince Philip, on what would have been his 100th birthday by planting a newly bred rose in his honor.
The Duke of Edinburgh died in April at age 99. He was previously admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell. On March 3, he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital before being transferred back to King Edward VII hospital on March 5 and ultimately released home on March 16.
The queen 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.
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.
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. Their marriage lasted 73 years, making Philip Britain’s longest-serving 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.
Although she remained in respectfully good spirits at the event, the past few months have clearly been a trying time for both the queen and the royal family. Although the queen is known for not showing too much emotion in public, a chance photo snapped by the Royal Central caught the queen in the back of her black Bentley on her way out of the service calmly wiping away a tear after saying goodbye to her husband of 73 years.
Philip’s celebration of life, which he had a major role in planning prior to his death, was attended by his and the queen’s four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — as well as Charles’s wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Anne’s husband Timothy Laurence and Edward’s wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Philip’s grandchildren — which include Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn — also were in attendance.
While the queen is commemorating her late husband, another member of the royal family, Prince Edward, noted that Philip would likely not have been too thrilled with ceremonies surrounding his 100th birthday were he still alive to see it.
In an interview with the BBC that was broadcast Thursday, the 57-year-old Prince Edward said the royal family would have “loved” the chance for Philip to be able to experience his centenary, even if his late father would have balked at “all the fuss and bother.”
“I think he wasn’t really looking forward to the centenary, even if we were,” Edward said.
“Everybody will have their own memories,” Edward said. “He was that sort of larger-than-life person. Once met, never forgotten.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.