Prince Philip is proving to be a ‘reluctant celebrant’ and ‘doesn’t want a fuss’ ahead of his 100th birthday in the summer, sources have revealed.
Insiders have now revealed they are expecting a ‘short shrift’ as they prepare the planning for celebrations of the Duke’s 100th birthday on June 10.
Sources told The Telegraph Prince Philip wants ‘nothing to do with it’, explaining: ‘Let’s just say we have a rather reluctant celebrant. You can’t do something if someone doesn’t want something doing.’
Prince Philip, 99, is proving to be a ‘reluctant celebrant’ and ‘doesn’t want a fuss’ ahead of his 100th birthday in the summer, sources have revealed
They said the subject of planning would ‘have to be raised’ in the New Year, adding: ‘The one person you can guarantee will not want anything to do with it, is the Duke.’
Insiders added that, depending on the coronavirus restrictions, the Royal Family might choose to celebrate privately in some way.
If able to, Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, are hoping to travel from California in order to attend the party.
The celebration may coincide with the Duke’s Invictus Games, which is set to begin in The Hague on May 29, and the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue at Kensington Palace in July.
Insiders have now revealed they are expecting a ‘short shrift’ as they prepare the planning for celebrations of the Duke’s 100th birthday on June 10
Sources added that the Duke was ‘characteristically taciturn’ about his 99th birthday this year, enjoying a quiet lunch and releasing a photograph alongside the Queen to mark the occasion.
Last month, royal commentator Katie Nicholl said the Queen and Prince Philip have ‘rediscovered the happiness of their early years together’ during the Covid-19 crisis.
She said the past few months has meant the couple have been have ‘really enjoyed’ spending more time together throughout the pandemic.
She told 9Honey: ‘I remember speaking to a very well-placed source at the time who said while the Queen was, like the rest of the country, was very down about the pandemic and not being able to work [as usual] and being in lockdown, the real upside for her was the time that she got to spend with Philip.’
If coronavirus restrictions allow, the Duke may celebrate with a gathering of family members, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle planning to fly over from California for the occasion
Katie added: ‘While some couples may have found that intensity of being together stretching or testing, they clearly got on very well… they really enjoyed that time together.’
It was reportedly hoped that Prince Philip and the Queen both isolating at Windsor will help quell tension, after Sandringham estate workers revolted against a plan for them to stay in a coronavirus bubble there over Christmas.
Until Covid-19 crisis struck, a modest farmhouse on the Norfolk estate had become Prince Philip’s main home following his retirement from formal royal duties in 2017.
However, he left in March to join the Queen at Windsor, where they spent four months with a specially screened household dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’.
Sources added that the Duke was ‘characteristically taciturn’ about his 99th birthday this year and enjoyed ‘a quiet lunch’ (pictured, in the photograph released for the occasion)
The Queen and the Duke had a summer holiday at Balmoral in August, but spent less than half their normal 10 weeks in Scotland due to coronavirus restrictions there that limit visits from family and friends.
The Duke then wanted to return to Wood Farm and, in an unusual move, the Queen decided to join him before returning to Windsor last month.
Wood Farm has long been a favourite of the couple. The five-bedroom farmhouse brings back fond memories from their younger days, as the Queen cooks and the Duke does the washing-up.
When the Queen returned to Windsor alone at the start of October, the plan was for her to commute between Norfolk, Windsor and Buckingham Palace where she could have official engagements.
Seemingly, however, that has proved unworkable, and her only Royal visit has been a trip to the Porton Down military research laboratory near Salisbury.