Queen Elizabeth II Remembered as 'Dear Friend' on Late Monarch's 98th Birthday

The late queen's birthday prompted a heartfelt post by her former daughter-in-law, Sarah Ferguson.

Sunday, April 21, was Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, and her friends and family didn't forget to mark the occasion. In a post on Instagram, the queen's former daughter-in-law Sarah Ferguson addressed the late queen directly. She wrote: "Thank you for all that you have taught us, for being a steadfast leader and dear friend. You are sorely missed."

The queen would have been 98 years old on Sunday – though Ferguson's post mistakenly said that she would have been 97. It included a photo of the queen standing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. This was the second time her birthday has passed since her death in September of 2022. Elizabeth II boasted the longest reign of any British monarch in recorded history, the longest reign of any female monarch, and the second longest verified reign of any monarch in sovereign state history – second to King Louis XIV of France, who reigned for 72 years in the 17th century.

Sarah And Queen Elizabeth II
(Photo: Georges De Keerle / Getty Images)

The queen passed away from natural causes due to old age on Sept. 8, 2022, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland – one of her personal favorite royal residences. Immediate members of the royal family rushed to her side when her condition became worse, but it's not clear if Ferguson was among them.

Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986, officially becoming a member of the British royal family and obtaining the title Duchess of York. They had two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, both of whom are now adults. Ferguson and Prince Andrew separated in 1992 after just six years of marriage, though they stayed surprisingly close over the years. They even continued living at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.

When the queen passed, Ferguson took in her beloved pet corgis and has lived with them ever since. Last May, she told The Sunday Times that she believes the dogs still miss the queen.

"People have picked me up for saying that the corgis can sense the late Queen's presence at Royal Lodge, Windsor, but it's true," Ferguson recalled. "Her dogs, Muick and Sandy, whom we've adopted, often do bark at nothing, which makes me think that Queen Elizabeth is passing by and laughing. I'm not being weird. ... I've noticed that at night they do like their own space. I respect that they probably do miss her. I miss her too."

The queen was succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III and is survived by three other children as well – Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward. Many royal admirers made posts in tribute to the queen on Sunday.