Queen’s loving tribute to her ‘strength and stay’ from 1997 speech

Aine Fox, PA
·2-min read

A loving tribute the Queen made to her “strength and stay” more than two decades ago has been highlighted on the royal family’s official twitter account.

The Duke of Edinburgh was honoured in a speech made by his wife on their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.

A day after Philip’s death on Friday, an excerpt from the speech was posted online.

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The post, quoting the Queen, read: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

It was accompanied by a picture of the royal couple, which had first been released on the day of Philip’s 95th birthday in 2016.

The photograph, taken at Windsor Castle after Easter that year, saw the pair wearing matching tones, with the Queen in a pale pink cardigan with gold buttons over a pink-and-white striped blouse, and the duke in a pink shirt under a light brown jacket, with a matching pink pocket square.

It was the sixth and final picture in a series of portraits taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The Queen’s warm words for her husband in 1997 came after he had praised her for her “abundance” of tolerance.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh marking their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh marking their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997 (PA)

On their golden wedding anniversary, Philip had said: “I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage.”

He added: “It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult.

“You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

The success of the couple’s long-lasting marriage, which spanned more than 70 years, was put down to their compatibility, with shared interests and the same dutiful royal training.

On the royal family’s official website, Philip is described as having been a “devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for over 60 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death”.