Queen takes comfort in close bond with grandchildren as she marks her first birthday without Philip

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The Queen is today spending her first birthday without her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, following his death earlier this month.

It will be the first time she has spent her birthday without Philip at her side since 1947, when she spent her milestone 21st with her parents and younger sister while on a tour of South Africa ahead of her wedding.

But while the celebrations for her 95th will be understandably muted, the grieving monarch is expected to take solace in a joy she and Philip shared – their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

While the coronavirus lockdown meant they couldn't spend much time in person together this past year, the Queen and her late husband kept in touch with their large family via frequent Zoom calls.

Harry spoke on his grandparents using the software on The Late Late Show with James Corden as he said: "Both my grandparents do zoom. They've seen Archie running around."

He also shared a sweet anecdote, explaining that "instead of pressing 'leave meeting' [Prince Philip just goes 'doof' [closes the laptop]. So, we're like 'Ok, bye'".

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Indeed it is as a doting grandfather that The Queen hopes her husband will be remembered.

After his death on April 9, the Queen shared a sweet photo of herself, Prince Philip and seven of her great-grandchildren cuddled up together on a mint-green couch.

The caption of the sweet snap, which was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge three years ago, read: "The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh surrounded by seven of their great-grandchildren at Balmoral Castle in 2018."

Queen Elizabeth and Philip's four children have between them given them eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, with another due any day.


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The monarch is grandmother to Peter Phillips, 43, Zara Tindall, 39, Prince William, 38, and his brother Prince Harry, 36, Princess Beatrice, 32, Princess Eugenie, 31, Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and 13 year old James, Viscount Severn.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is also the great-grandmother of Peter and ex wife Autumn's children Savannah, ten, and eight year old Isla as well as Zara and husband Mike's daughters Mia, seven, Lena, two, and newborn Lucas.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank welcomed their first child together recently as well while Prince William and Kate Middleton share Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two.

The Duke of Cambridge's brother Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are also parents to one year old Archie and are currently expecting their second child, a baby girl.

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The Queen has a particularly close bond with her youngest granddaughter, Lady Louise, who lives with her parents Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex just 20 minutes away from Windsor Castle at 51-acre Bagshot Park.

Indeed it was to Louise that Prince Philip left his two fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm. In a special bequest he also left Louise the special carriage he designed and rode.

Born 26 years after her older cousin, Louise and brother James have benefited from being able to spend much more time with their doting grandparents.

They are known to have been frequent visitors pre-pandemic, popping round casually to ride ponies and spend time with their grandparents.

"They were the grandchildren that they saw the most," Majesty magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward told The Telegraph. "While the older ones were seen less frequently, this little girl was there every weekend.”


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The Queen, who will be in mourning until Friday 23 April, is expected to take her gorgeous two new corgis on a walk on for her birthday.

While she usually has a gun salute, last year she insisted no "special measures" were taken amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and this year is no different.

According to The Telegraph, Her Majesty will also enjoy lunch outside with a small group of close family members, the details of which will remain private.

One noticeable absence is her grandson Prince Harry, who has returned to his pregnant wife in California, after flying over for the funeral.

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