Queen Elizabeth continues to pay tribute to her late husband, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 on April 9. On Saturday, she visited the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth before its world tour, and since Philip served in the Royal Navy, the Queen wore a brooch he gave her over 50 years ago. The visit came a few days after Queen Elizabeth sat by herself when opening a new session of Parliament in London.
The Queen, 95, met with officers and members of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and Royal Marines during her visit to the aircraft carrier before its first operational deployment. During the visit, the Queen wore a gold "scarab" brooch that Prince Philip gave her as a personal gift in 1966. It is the same brooch the Queen wore in a portrait to mark the couple's 70th wedding anniversary in 2017, notes PEOPLE. The brooch includes a carved ruby and diamond.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth will spend 28 weeks at sea, leading the U.K. Carrier Strike Group. It will travel from the Mediterranean Sea to the Philippine Sea and is one of the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. About 250 U.S. Marine Corps members will join the U.K. sailors on the operation.
This was not the first time Queen Elizabeth visited the ship. She attended the naming ceremony with Philip in July 2014. She also attended a formal commissioning event in 2017, alongside Princess Anne. During that trip, Elizabeth referenced Philip's past service at sea. "As the daughter, wife, and mother of naval officers, I recognize the unique demands our nation asks of you and I will always value my special link with HMS Queen Elizabeth, her ship's company, and their families," she said in 2017.
Earlier this month, Queen Elizabeth opened a new session of Parliament for the first time since Philip's death. She sat alone at her Throne in the House of Lords, with the Consort's Throne empty. Philip sat beside the Queen, on the throne for decades, but Prince Charles took the seat in recent years. When the new session of Parliament started, the Consort's Throne was left empty. Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, did attend the ceremony but sat a few feet away from the Queen when she delivered a speech.
Prince Philip's funeral was on April 17. The Queen celebrated her 95th birthday just a few days later, issuing a personal statement to thank the public for their outpouring of support. "While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and around the world," she wrote on April 21. "My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life."