At 99, Philip closer to the queen than ever. Just don’t ask him ...

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At 99, Philip closer to the queen than ever. Just don’t ask him for a hug

Biographer Philip Eade pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on a milestone birthday in lockdown

Philip Eade

It came as no surprise to hear that Britain’s Prince Philip has been, according to a Buckingham Palace source, “characteristically taciturn” about the celebration of his 99th birthday on Wednesday.

Famously no-nonsense, he has reportedly asked that there be “no fuss” and has seen to it that the highlight of this deliberately low-key day will be a “simple lunch” with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, where they are isolating together.

Married for a scarcely believable 72 years, the royal couple has been living at the queen’s favourite home since the start of lockdown. It is their longest uninterrupted stint under one roof since anyone can remember — conceivably the longest since the very early days of their marriage, in 1947, when the queen told her mother how entirely at ease they felt together on honeymoon at Lord Mountbatten’s Hampshire lodge, Broadlands...

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