Queen marks late husband Prince Philip's 100th birthday with 'lovely' new rose
The Queen has marked what would have been her husband's 100th birthday by planting a new rose which was named in his honour.
Prince Philip died nine weeks short of his 100th birthday, which would have been on 10 June. He died on 9 April in Windsor Castle, with his death confirmed as old age.
The Queen, who marked her 95th birthday while still officially in royal mourning, honoured the first of her husband's birthdays without him with a newly-bred rose, given to her by the Royal Horticultural Society.
It was planted in the gardens at Windsor Castle, where the couple spent much of the last year of the duke's life together, after he decided to go there before the first coronavirus lockdown.
He even came back with her in the summer of 2020 despite them going to Sandringham, where he had been living after he retired in 2017.
Last year the Queen and Philip were pictured in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle as the duke celebrated his 99th birthday.
They were pictured again in November 2020 as they opened cards from their family for their 73rd wedding anniversary.
On Wednesday, after conducting some virtual audiences, the Queen donned a blue dress and white cardigan to venture into the castle gardens and be given the deep pink rose, named the Duke of Edinburgh.
The sunglass-wearing monarch smiled as she accepted the rose from Keith Weed, the president of the RHS.
He told her: "It’s a rose named the Duke of Edinburgh Rose to mark his centenary and it’s a commemorative rose for all the marvellous things that he did over his lifetime and for everyone to remember so much that he did.
"Each rose, there’s a donation that goes to the Living Legacy Fund which will help more children. It’s a beautiful flower in itself, a double flower."
The Queen said: "It looks lovely."
The Duke of Edinburgh rose was newly bred after Philip died, by Harkness Roses, which has been breeding and growing British roses since 1879.
Some of the money from the sales of the roses will go toward The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Living Legacy Fund. The company will donate £2.50 from each rose sold, helping more people complete the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Its label also features an image of the late duke in a Panama hat.
Weed added of the rose: "Right now, with a cold spring and nature being a little bit behind, it doesn’t look so lovely there but that’s what it looks like. The picture says it all."
The Queen replied: "Well that’s very kind."
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The Queen watched on as the rose was planted by Windsor's head gardener Philip Carter, in the mixed rose border in the East Terrace Garden, which Philip did a lot of the work on.
He was instrumental in redesigning the layout of the East Terrace Garden and also commissioned the bronze lotus fountain at the centre.
She chatted to Weed about the border, saying: "As you can see, nothing has flowered here much."
Weed said: "I’ll tell you what, your roses are a little ahead of mine. But they really by now would normally be over."
She said: "No, no, no, it’s Ascot Week", with Carter later confirming the Queen was correct in the bloom schedule.
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The Queen added: "We had a very cold May, didn’t we?"
Weed told her: "If we can say any good things about this extraordinary year, we’ve had a boom in gardening."
The monarch replied: "It’s rather nice, isn’t it."
After being told there was a rise of 10% in people who had taken up gardening, to 30m in the UK, she said: "That’s very good."
Weed said afterwards: "Whilst being very poignant, it was also a delight to give Her Majesty The Queen, patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Duke of Edinburgh Rose to mark what would have been HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday and to remember his remarkable life."
The rose costs £14.99 and is available to buy online.
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