Prince Philip’s death: Queen’s message to the nation on her 95th birthday

The Queen was seen driving through Windsor today on her way to take her dogs for a walk as she marked her 95th birthday without her ‘strength and stay’ of 73 years. 

The monarch – who was recently gifted two new corgi puppies by Prince Andrew – was pictured leaving Windsor Castle in a green Jaguar Estate after the ‘low-key’ birthday celebrations, believed to have included several family members and her closest aides. 

Earlier today, in her first comments since Prince Philip’s death, the monarch thanked well-wishers across the globe for the tributes paid to her husband which have ‘deeply touched’ the royal family.

The Queen said she and her family were in a ‘period of great sadness’ but were comforted by words of praise for Philip, who died peacefully at Windsor aged 99.

Her Majesty said in a statement: ‘I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate.

‘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.

‘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.’

Earlier today, Buckingham Palace shared a photo of the steadfast monarch at a royal engagement with a message wishing her happy birthday.

Instead of sharing their own posts, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Instagram accounts re-posted the radiant photo of Her Majesty. 

Celebrations will be a subdued this year with no traditional gun salutes while the Queen observes a two-week mourning period following the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99.

The Queen was expected to be visited by family today but grandson Prince Harry will not be among them.

He returned home to California from London yesterday, just 24 hours before his grandmother’s birthday and two days after his grandfather’s funeral.

He is said to have met the Queen privately ‘at least twice’ and spoke to his father and brother Prince William after the Duke of Edinburgh’s emotional funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday, according to Harry and Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie.

Meanwhile, William and Kate had earlier visited a RAF cadet base in east London, as the Duchess reconnected with her family’s long history in aviation.

The monarch was pictured leaving Windsor Castle in a green Jaguar Estate after hosting a visit from family members during the ‘low-key’ celebrations

The Queen (seen in the driver's seat wearing a headscarf) marked her birthday with a small gathering believed to have included several family members and her closest aides

The Queen (seen in the driver’s seat wearing a headscarf) marked her birthday with a small gathering believed to have included several family members and her closest aides

In her first comments since Prince Philip's death, the monarch thanked well-wishers across the globe for the tributes paid to her husband which have 'deeply touched' the royal family

In her first comments since Prince Philip’s death, the monarch thanked well-wishers across the globe for the tributes paid to her husband which have ‘deeply touched’ the royal family 

Her Majesty leaving Windsor Castle this afternoon as she went to walk her dogs on her 95th birthday - her first for many years without Philip

Her Majesty leaving Windsor Castle this afternoon as she went to walk her dogs on her 95th birthday – her first for many years without Philip 

The photo, released on the official Royal Family Instagram account this morning, shows the Queen smiling in a burgundy ensemble at a royal engagement

The photo, released on the official Royal Family Instagram account this morning, shows the Queen smiling in a burgundy ensemble at a royal engagement

Prince Philip and the Queen pictured together in a photo released in 2007 to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary

Prince Philip and the Queen pictured together in a photo released in 2007 to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary

In other royal news today – 

  • The Duchess of Cambridge had a go on a flight simulator cockpit on a visit to an air cadet centre with Prince William; 
  • William, who learnt to fly with the RAF and piloted the service’s search and rescue helicopters, joked ‘this is going to be interesting’ as he watched Kate, 39, take the controls; 
  • A ‘security scare’ at Windsor which saw a woman walk into Prince Andrew’s house after bungling guards were impressed by her ‘polished appearance’ was revealed;
  • Prince Andrew was named as the person behind a gift of two new corgi puppies to help the Queen cope when Prince Philip was ill in hospital; 
  • The New Zealand Governor General described the Duke of Edinburgh as one of the ‘unchanging stars of the sky’ in a memorial service; 
  • Research found the Queen is a bigger ‘global brand’ than Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, David and Victoria Beckham and Oprah Winfrey; 
  • Philip’s biographer Gyles Brandreth said Philips’ ‘only complaint’ about the Queen during their 73-year marriage was that she was ‘always on the phone’;
  • Mike Tindall said Prince Philip’s socially-distanced ‘no-fuss’ funeral was ‘eerie’ but ‘how he would have liked it’ as he praised the Queen for ‘leading by example’ by sitting alone

The Queen’s full birthday statement thanking public for their ‘kindness’  

‘I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate.

‘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.

‘My family and I would like to thank you for all 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.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today lead tributes to the Queen, saying: ‘I would like to send my warm wishes to Her Majesty The Queen on her 95th birthday.

‘I have always had the highest admiration for Her Majesty and her service to this country and the Commonwealth. I am proud to serve as her Prime Minister.’  

The Duke of Sussex, 36, is understood to have flown into Los Angeles on an American Airlines flight from London Heathrow shortly after 1.30pm local time yesterday.

His chauffeur-driven MPV was seen leaving the private terminal at LAX, reserved for celebrities and the super-rich, and was spotted again arriving at the Sussexes’ Montecito mansion at around 4pm.

After Saturday’s emotional funeral William and Harry took ‘baby steps’ towards healing their relationship after they walked back to Windsor Castle from St George’s Chapel together after being pushed together by peacemaker Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Later there was a face-to-face meeting within the grounds of the castle between the brothers and their father Prince Charles, but, in an unprecedented development that lays bare the depth of their rift, Charles and William preferred to meet with Harry together so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterwards, MailOnline’s Dan Wootton revealed yesterday.   

Meanwhile Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie today reported Harry had met the Queen privately ‘at least twice’ and spoke to his father and brother Prince William after the Duke of Edinburgh’s emotional funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Harry and William pictured together at Philip's funeral. They were later seen briefly chatting with each other

Harry and William pictured together at Philip’s funeral. They were later seen briefly chatting with each other  

Prince Harry met the Queen privately ‘at least twice’ while he was in UK 

Meghan Markle’s friend Omid Scobie today reported that Prince Harry met the Queen privately ‘at least twice’ and spoke to his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William after the Duke of Edinburgh’s emotional funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

MailOnline’s Dan Wootton first revealed yesterday that Charles and William preferred to meet with the Duke of Sussex face-to-face together within the grounds of the castle after Prince Philip’s funeral so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterwards.

That meeting came after the royal brothers had taken ‘baby steps’ towards healing their fraught relationship while walking back to the Queen’s home from St George’s Chapel after being pushed together by peacemaker Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.

Today journalist Mr Scobie, co-author of the Finding Freedom biography about Harry and Meghan’s bombshell decision to quit royal life and strike out on their own in California, reported that the duke met with Her Majesty after he flew to Britain for the funeral.

It comes as the Duke of Sussex was photographed returning home to Montecito from London yesterday to reunite with his pregnant wife Meghan, missing his grandmother’s 95th birthday today as the monarch marks the day without her ‘strength and stay’ of 73 years.

However, Mr Scobie reported that Harry had in fact been able to speak with Her Majesty ‘at least twice’ during his time back in the UK – which would be the first time the duke had spoken to his grandmother in person since his and Meghan’s explosive Oprah interview.

The Finding Freedom co-author quoted sources in Bazaar.com who said: ‘The love and respect he [Harry] has for his grandmother will always be unwavering.

‘This trip was to honour the life of his grandfather and support his grandmother and relatives. It was very much a family-focused period of time. Saturday broke the ice for future conversations but outstanding issues have not been addressed at any great length. The family simply put their issues to one side to focus on what mattered.’

Mr Scobie also confirmed today that Harry stayed at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle while he was in the country and saw a number of family members including Princess Eugenie and her newborn son.

 

Mr Scobie, co-author of the Finding Freedom biography about Harry and Meghan’s bombshell decision to quit royal life and strike out on their own in California, reported that the duke met with Her Majesty after he flew to Britain for the funeral.

The Finding Freedom co-author quoted sources in Bazaar.com who said: ‘The love and respect he [Harry] has for his grandmother will always be unwavering.

‘This trip was to honour the life of his grandfather and support his grandmother and relatives. It was very much a family-focused period of time. 

‘Saturday broke the ice for future conversations but outstanding issues have not been addressed at any great length. 

‘The family simply put their issues to one side to focus on what mattered.’

Mr Scobie also confirmed today that Harry stayed at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle while he was in the country and saw a number of family members including Princess Eugenie and her newborn son.

In keeping with the pared back celebrations, the palace scrapped plans to release a new photo of the Queen to mark her birthday, as is customary.

Instead, the palace are set to release one from a previous royal engagement. 

The Queen has worn the outfit on a number of previous occasions including a visit to the MI5 headquarters last year and to the Commonwealth Day Service in 2018. 

The simple caption read: ‘Today is The Queen’s 95th birthday.

‘The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. 

She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. 

‘This year Her Majesty remains at Windsor Castle, during a period of Royal Mourning following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh.’ 

Hours later the account posted a message thanking royal fans for their birthday messages and condolences following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. 

In a bid to keep Her Majesty company, the family have agreed a rota to visit the Queen over the coming days to ensure that she is not left alone.

Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are reported to be among the Queen’s first visitors.   

‘The Queen will not be alone. 

‘She will have others who care about her deeply and want to be there to support her in her most pressing hour,’ a source told The Mirror

‘In typical fashion the Queen has insisted she is coping and despite the suggestion she had prepared herself for this day to come, everyone is well aware there is nothing like the experience when it comes.’  

During today’s visit to an air cadet centre Kate tried her hand at a flight simulator – a Grob Tutor used by the RAF for elementary flying training – while William held her handbag

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laughed as they viewed a problem solving exercise during this afternoon's visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laughed as they viewed a problem solving exercise during this afternoon’s visit 

The Cambridges were both wearing black as a mark of respect following the recent death of the Duke of Edinburgh

The Cambridges were both wearing black as a mark of respect following the recent death of the Duke of Edinburgh

Today was the Cambridges first public engagement since Saturday's funeral at Windsor Castle. During the event, William took 'baby steps' towards healing his relationship with his brother, Prince Harry, as they walked back to Windsor Castle from St George's Chapel together after being pushed together by peacemaker Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge

Today was the Cambridges first public engagement since Saturday’s funeral at Windsor Castle. During the event, William took ‘baby steps’ towards healing his relationship with his brother, Prince Harry, as they walked back to Windsor Castle from St George’s Chapel together after being pushed together by peacemaker Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge

Prince Harry's chauffeur-driven MPV was seen leaving the private terminal at LAX, reserved for celebrities and the super-rich, and was spotted again arriving at the Sussexes' Montecito mansion at around 4pm

Prince Harry’s chauffeur-driven MPV was seen leaving the private terminal at LAX, reserved for celebrities and the super-rich, and was spotted again arriving at the Sussexes’ Montecito mansion at around 4pm

Harry's car was seen arriving at his home in Montecito at around 4 pm to return to wife Meghan and son Archie

Harry’s car was seen arriving at his home in Montecito at around 4 pm to return to wife Meghan and son Archie 

The royal, 36, is understood to have flown into LAX on an American Airlines flight that arrived in Los Angeles shortly after 1.30pm local time

The royal, 36, is understood to have flown into LAX on an American Airlines flight that arrived in Los Angeles shortly after 1.30pm local time

Giving Wills a run for his money! Kate hops into flight simulator pilot seat – and follows in her parents’ and grandfather’s footsteps 

The Duchess of Cambridge reconnected with her family’s long history in aviation today as she tried her hand on a flight simulator during a visit to a cadet centre while Prince William held her handbag. 

William, who learnt to fly with the RAF and piloted the service’s search and rescue helicopters, joked ‘this is going to be interesting’ as he watched Kate, 39, take the controls of the light aircraft simulator during a visit in east London.

The prince, 38, said, ‘I’ll hold the handbag!’ and then stood leaning against a wall with Kate’s elegant clutch in his hand.

Kate, wearing a black Dolce & Gabbana coat, struggled to fit her tall frame inside – particularly in her vertiginous heels – but managed to do it elegantly and was handed a headset to wear by Corporal Stephanie Andre, 16.

Today was the Cambridges first public engagement since Saturday’s funeral at Windsor Castle. 

During the event, William took ‘baby steps’ towards healing his relationship with his brother, Prince Harry, as they walked back to Windsor Castle from St George’s Chapel together after being pushed together by peacemaker Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Later there was a face-to-face meeting within the grounds of the castle between the brothers and their father Prince Charles, but, in an unprecedented development that lays bare the depth of their rift, Charles and William preferred to meet with Harry together so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterwards, MailOnline’s Dan Wootton revealed yesterday.    

Kate’s father, Michael, 71, worked as a commercial pilot and flight dispatcher British Airways while her mother Carole, 66, was a BA flight attendant. 

Meanwhile, in a striking coincidence, the Duchess of Cambridge’s paternal grandfather, Peter, accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh during his royal flying tour of South America in 1962.

One image from the time showed, Prince Philip, then 41, seen disembarking a plane at Heathrow Airport, while Peter, then 42, stands at the bottom of the plane stairs in RAF uniform.   

 

Typically the Queen’s birthday is marked with a 21-gun salute fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from either Hyde Park or Green Park, followed by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company. 

This year it will not take place, marking the second year in a row the monarch has eschewed the tradition.   

The Queen last year decided the celebratory display of military firepower would not be ‘appropriate’ as the UK was in lockdown with thousands dead from the coronavirus outbreak. 

Trooping the Colour, which is usually held in June to mark the Queen’s ‘official’ birthday, will also not go ahead for the second year due to the Covid pandemic. 

Instead, courtiers are considering an ‘alternative parade’ in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle, similar to an event dubbed ‘mini Trooping’ that was held last summer. 

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born at 2.40am on April 21 1926. 

She was the first child of the then-Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was born by caesarean section at 17 Bruton Street, the Mayfair home of her mother’s parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

The Queen never expected to be a monarch when she was born, but the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII in 1936 put her father on the throne, and changed her destiny.

She wed Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in 1947, and became Queen at the age of 25 when George VI died from lung cancer in 1952.

Elizabeth II, who has been monarch for more than 68 years, is Head of State, the Armed Forces and the Commonwealth.

She will celebrate her platinum jubilee of 70 years on the throne in 2022.   

Harry had been widely reported to have been planning to stay for the Queen’s birthday, although sources said he was ‘conflicted’ about the decision and wanted to get home to Meghan.

The Duke of Sussex had flown into the UK on an American Airlines flight just over a week ago and spent most of his British trip in quarantine at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

Father-of-one Harry will now begin a second 10-day quarantine – a requirement for international travelers journeying to the US, although it is not mandatory unlike in the UK.

CDC guidelines recommend travelers get a Covid-19 test prior to departure and self-isolate for 10 days after they return.

California also has its own travel advisory, with visitors and residents required to fill in a form that includes their contact details on arrival at LAX. 

The LA guidelines also say travelers should quarantine, although that advice includes exemptions for those traveling for work or for urgent family matters.

Harry’s brief visit to the UK for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was his first trip back to Britain in a year.

In 1962, the Duchess of Cambridge's paternal grandfather (on the left in the hat) accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh during his royal flying tour of South America

In 1962, the Duchess of Cambridge’s paternal grandfather (on the left in the hat) accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh during his royal flying tour of South America

Celebrations will be a subdued affair this year with no traditional gun salutes, as the Queen remains in mourning for her husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, who she has called her 'strength and stay'. Pictured, the couple in 2003

Celebrations will be a subdued affair this year with no traditional gun salutes, as the Queen remains in mourning for her husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, who she has called her ‘strength and stay’. Pictured, the couple in 2003

The Queen has worn today's outfit on a number of occasions, including a 2020 visit to the MI5 headquarters (pictured) and the 2018 Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey

The Queen has worn today’s outfit on a number of occasions, including a 2020 visit to the MI5 headquarters (pictured) and the 2018 Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey

William had joint meeting with Harry because they were too scared to meet him individually 

Charles and William preferred to meet with Harry together at Windsor so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterwards, MailOnline’s Dan Wootton revealed. 

A senior royal insider said: ‘Obviously after the worldwide fallout of the Oprah interview trust has to be rebuilt.

‘There was no official wake after the funeral, but Charles, William and Harry took the opportunity to speak and catch-up face to face after many months apart.

‘They were only able to spend a short time together outdoors given Covid restrictions and also without staff, including senior courtiers, overhearing what was being said.

‘It was important to Charles and William that they were both there together. It means nothing spoken about can be misconstrued in the future.’

Kate also attended parts of the talks, some of which took place at Frogmore Cottage, Harry’s home within the grounds of Windsor Castle, according to The Sun.

Given the tensions, sparked by claims of racism and uncaring behaviour by the Royal Family when Meghan says she was suffering from mental health issues, a full rapprochement did not occur.

Another senior royal insider said: ‘There is much pain and hurt on both sides, so this reconciliation will take place in baby steps.

‘First, they need to decide on some ground rules as to how they conduct business going forward in a way that makes all parties feel safe and protected.’

Crucially, Charles and William have the Queen’s support to deal with the situation.

The source explained: ‘The Queen has made it clear to senior advisers that she is united with Charles and William, and was disappointed with aspects of Harry and Meghan’s interview.’ 

Pregnant Meghan, who is expecting a baby girl in the summer, was told not to travel with him but did send a handwritten note and a wreath.

The trip also marked the first time he has seen his family since making explosive allegations about royal racism during an interview with Oprah last month and claiming his father and brother are ‘trapped in the system’.

Sources told the Mail on Sunday Harry received a frosty reception when he appeared at Philip’s funeral on Saturday and was largely ignored by senior royals, among them Princess Anne and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

His presence also caused problems for courtiers – although the Duke of Edinburgh had wanted military uniform to be worn for his funeral, Harry is not entitled to wear it having given up his military roles as part of the Megxit deal.

Instead, the Queen decided to spare Harry’s blushes by having the royal party wear morning suits to the funeral. 

He reportedly texted with his father and brother beforehand but didn’t see them in person until shortly before the service began.

Although William and Harry’s interactions initially looked frosty, they were pictured chatting together after the service as they made their way back to the castle.

Prince Charles and his two sons are then reported to have spent three hours ‘clearing the air’ immediately after the funeral.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today lead tributes to the Queen, writing a message on Twitter

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today lead tributes to the Queen, writing a message on Twitter

But Page Six and The Telegraph both reported that Harry and Charles did not have a one-on-one due to fears of a misunderstanding.

The pair were said to be unlikely to meet again before the Duke of Sussex headed back to the US, reported The Times.

Sources told the outlets that both Charles and William wanted each other present for any meeting for fear that a ‘twisted version of events’ would leak out from Harry’s camp.

Harry is due to return to the UK again at the end of July for the unveiling of a memorial to his mother Princess Diana. 

Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge today reconnected with her family’s long history in aviation today as she tried her hand on a flight simulator during a visit to a cadet centre while Prince William held her handbag.

William, who learnt to fly with the RAF and piloted the service’s search and rescue helicopters, joked ‘this is going to be interesting’ as he watched Kate, 39, take the controls of the light aircraft simulator during a visit in east London.

The prince, 38, said, ‘I’ll hold the handbag!’ and then stood leaning against a wall with Kate’s elegant clutch in his hand.

Kate, wearing a black Dolce & Gabbana coat, struggled to fit her tall frame inside – particularly in her vertiginous heels – but managed to do it elegantly and was handed a headset to wear by Corporal Stephanie Andre, 16.

Today was the Cambridges first public engagement since Saturday’s funeral at Windsor Castle.

Poignant images of Her Majesty bowing her head and watching the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin from behind a mask in St George's Chapel moved millions in Britain and around the world

Poignant images of Her Majesty bowing her head and watching the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin from behind a mask in St George’s Chapel moved millions in Britain and around the world 

During the event, William took ‘baby steps’ towards healing his relationship with his brother, Prince Harry, as they walked back to Windsor Castle from St George’s Chapel together after being pushed together by peacemaker Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Later there was a face-to-face meeting within the grounds of the castle between the brothers and their father Prince Charles, but, in an unprecedented development that lays bare the depth of their rift, Charles and William preferred to meet with Harry together so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterwards, MailOnline’s Dan Wootton revealed yesterday.

Kate’s father, Michael, 71, worked as a commercial pilot and flight dispatcher British Airways while her mother Carole, 66, was a BA flight attendant.

Meghan Markle and son Archie ‘spoke to the Queen before Prince Philip’s funeral’

Meghan Markle and son Archie Mountbatten Windsor (pictured together in September 2019) spoke to the Queen before Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday, a royal source told People magazine

Meghan Markle and son Archie Mountbatten Windsor (pictured together in September 2019) spoke to the Queen before Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday, a royal source told People magazine

Meghan Markle and son Archie Mountbatten Windsor spoke to the Queen before Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday, a royal source told People magazine.

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, also spoke with her husband before his grandfather was laid to rest, and ‘knows the trip to England has been difficult for him’.

Prince Harry, 36, returned home to California from London yesterday, missing the Queen’s 95th birthday today and with the Windsors’ family row unresolved after meeting only once with his father and Prince William following the Duke of Edinburgh‘s funeral.

His chauffeur-driven MPV was seen leaving the private terminal at LAX, reserved for celebrities and the super-rich, and was spotted again arriving at the Montecito mansion he shares with Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, at around 4pm. 

The source told the publication: ‘Meghan and Harry have been in touch every day. She knows the trip to England has been difficult for Harry. He didn’t want to leave Meghan and Archie alone. Meghan has insisted to him every day though that they are fine. She hasn’t wanted him to worry.’

They added: ‘Meghan spoke with Harry before his grandfather’s funeral. Meghan and Archie also spoke with the Queen earlier this week.’ 

Harry previously revealed during an interview with James Corden that his grandparents ‘do Zoom’, adding: ‘They’ve seen Archie running around.’ 

A well-connected royal insider told People the past year has been a ‘very difficult time’ for the Royal Family, made all the more so by Prince Philip’s passing on April 9, aged 99. 

‘The Duke was the head of the family, and if there were any time they were going to come together, it’s now,’ they said.

After Saturday’s emotional funeral William and Harry took ‘baby steps’ towards healing their relationship after they walked back to Windsor Castle from St George’s Chapel together, having been pushed together by peacemaker Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

 

Security scare at Windsor: Woman, 44, who claimed to be engaged to Prince Andrew walks into his house after bungling guards impressed by her ‘polished appearance’ paid her cab fare then allowed her to wander around grounds for 20 minutes

By Emer Scully for MailOnline

A 44-year-old woman who claimed to be engaged to the Duke of York was let into his official Windsor residence by bungling security guards, it has been revealed.

Security officers were so taken in by the Spanish national’s polished appearance they even paid her cab fare before waving her into the grounds of Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at 11am on Monday.

The woman, who has now been sectioned under the 1984 Mental Health Act, spent 20 minutes wandering the grounds before heading inside the Grade II listed building to ask a member of staff where the duke was, reported The Sun

Security officers were so taken in by the Spanish national's polished appearance they even paid her cab fare before waving her into the grounds of Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at 11am on Monday

Security officers were so taken in by the Spanish national’s polished appearance they even paid her cab fare before waving her into the grounds of Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park at 11am on Monday

Prince Andrew’s gift for the Queen: Royal ‘was behind present of two new corgi puppies to help monarch cope when Philip was ill in hospital’ 

Prince Andrew gifted his mother two puppies to help her cope when her late husband was in hospital, reports suggest today.

Her Majesty was given the dogs in February to keep her company in Windsor while the Duke of Edinburgh was recovering from heart surgery.

The Queen named her new puppies Fergus and Muick after her war hero uncle and her favourite beauty spot in Balmoral. These two pooches were posted on the Pets4Home site and match the description and how much the Queen reportedly paid for one

The Queen named her new puppies Fergus and Muick after her war hero uncle and her favourite beauty spot in Balmoral. These two pooches were posted on the Pets4Home site and match the description and how much the Queen reportedly paid for one

It has now emerged that the pups were ‘bought by Prince Andrew’ in a bid to cheer his 94-year-old mother up.

This comes as royal experts predict the Duke of York is ‘trying to rehabilitate himself’ and get back into the royal fold – despite his brother Charles and Prince William pushing plans for a slimmed-down monarchy.

The Queen has turned to her dogs for comfort in the aftermath of her husband’s death. 

Police were called and she was held in the lobby after she told the staff member she was engaged to Prince Andrew, her name was Irene Windsor and she lived there with the duke. 

In the woman’s handbag maps of the Royal Lodge and other Royal Family residences were found, alongside a self-defence key ring in the shape of a cat that featured two sharp prongs.  

She was originally arrested on suspicion of burglary before being sectioned and a security review has now been launched.

Prince Andrew’s police protection was scaled back last year as part of cost-cutting measures as he withdrew from Royal duties because of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

He still has Met Police personal protection but his officers are no longer routinely armed.

Private Security at the Royal Lodge, which Andrew shares with his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, is provided by the Privy Purse, The Queen’s private income.

It is understood the intruder flew into the UK from Spain on Saturday, the day of Prince Philip’s funeral three miles away at Windsor Castle. 

Despite security forces being on high alert for the funeral, the woman was allowed through the front gate to the Royal Lodge, apparently without being asked to show any proof of identification.  

She claimed to have a lunch appointment with the duke, and demanded security officers pay her cab fare.    

Police were called and she was held in the lobby after she told the staff member she was engaged to Prince Andrew, her name was Irene Windsor and she lived there with the duke. Pictured, houses on the Windsor estate

Police were called and she was held in the lobby after she told the staff member she was engaged to Prince Andrew, her name was Irene Windsor and she lived there with the duke. Pictured, houses on the Windsor estate

A source said: ‘She was apparently very smartly dressed, in suit trousers, a yellow blouse and peach jacket, and had her hair done up and full make-up.

‘She cut quite a glamorous figure and the guards were completely taken in by her.

‘The woman demanded they pay her cab fare as she was a close friend of Prince Andrew, and they obliged before helpfully pointing her on her way towards the Royal Lodge.’

Prince Andrew and Fergie have lived at the Royal Lodge since 2004, two years after its former occupant, the Queen Mother, died.

Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, who had their baby boy August in February, have also been living at Royal Lodge during lockdown.  

Sources said Prince Andrew was home at the time of the intrusion, but it is not known if he was aware of it at the time.      

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: ‘Thames Valley Police were called to the Royal Lodge at Windsor Great Park on Monday morning to reports of a female trespasser.

‘The woman, aged 44, was intercepted and arrested. She was subsequently de-arrested and has been sectioned under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

‘The investigation into the incident continues, but there was no risk to any individual on the site. Due to the female being sectioned, we will not be commenting further at this time.’

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Prince Andrew (pictured returning to Windsor Castle after Price Philip's funeral) and Fergie have lived at the Royal Lodge since 2004, two years after its former occupant, the Queen Mother, died

Prince Andrew (pictured returning to Windsor Castle after Price Philip’s funeral) and Fergie have lived at the Royal Lodge since 2004, two years after its former occupant, the Queen Mother, died

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