Queen Elizabeth Releases Rare Personal Message on Her 95th Birthday Following Prince Philip's Funeral

Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her 95th birthday in private as she continues to mourn the death of her late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away peacefully at home on April 9 at age 99. The royal released a rare personal statement to the public Wednesday thanking people for their "support and kindness" during this difficult time.

"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," Elizabeth wrote in a statement signed Elizabeth R. "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."

In honor of the Queen's milestone birthday, the royal family released a statement regarding her activities for the day, quelled not only by the period of mourning she has entered but also by the COVID-19 pandemic. "This year The Queen remains at Windsor Castle during a period of Royal Mourning following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh," the account shared of Her Royal Highness.

Prince Philip was laid to rest in an intimate funeral service Saturday in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth attended in a black coat and matching hat and face mask, but the service was limited to only 30 people in attendance due to COVID precautions. The late Prince's funeral service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Conner, and the archbishop of Canterbury Welby.

For about 50 minutes, the televised service honored his life and included a four-person choir performing songs selected by Prince Philip before his death, including "Jubilate in C" by Benjamin Britten, which was commissioned for the St. George's Chapel Choir. The Queen sent her late husband off with a final handwritten note, which she signed "Lilibet," her childhood nickname still in use by her husband of 73 years before his passing.