Great Britain

Queen ‘WON’T release new portrait for her 95th birthday’ this week as she mourns loss of Prince Philip

THE Queen won't release a new portrait for her 95th birthday this week as she mourns the loss of Prince Philip, it is claimed.

There will also reportedly be no gun salute to mark the occasion for the second year running.

🔵 Read our Prince Philip funeral live blog for the latest updates

The monarch will continue to observe a period of mourning until Thursday meaning this year's celebrations will be scaled back.

Plans to mark her birthday on Wednesday with a new portrait have been abandoned, the Daily Mail reports.

And the traditional 41-gun and 21-gun salutes in London's Hyde Park and the Tower of London have also been cancelled, the Ministry of Defence said.

The salutes were shelved last year after the Queen said no "special measures" should be taken during the pandemic.

Her birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, which was due to have taken place on June 12, was cancelled in March for the second consecutive year due to lockdown.

Her Majesty faces her loneliest birthday yet - her first without Philip in more than 70 years.

But royal sources suggested that even before her husband's death on April 9, the Queen had wanted to keep the occasion low-key, instead focusing on the Duke of Edinburgh's 100th celebrations, which would have taken place on June 10.

She will likely spend the day surrounded by close family members at Windsor Castle.

Royals have reportedly "agreed a rota to visit the Queen ahead of the big day" as she grieves the death of Philip.

Members of the family will take it in turns to visit the monarch for walks in Windsor along with her two new corgi pups.

She is said to be "coping" after the funeral of her devoted husband of 73 years on Saturday, where she sat alone as she said a final farewell on her "saddest and most difficult day".

Her Majesty, who wore all black and a face mask for the occasion, appeared sorrowful and deep in thought as she entered St George's Chapel, Windsor.

One powerful image showed the sombre royal sat alone in the vast chapel as she said her final goodbyes to her loyal husband, 99.

The plan to support the Queen is said to have been formed by the female leading figures in the family, including her daughter Princess Anne, daughters-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex, supported by the Duchess of Cambridge.

She is expected to have a series of regular visitors as she stays at the castle, where she has remained for most of the past 13 months as the pandemic swept across the country.

A source told the Mirror: “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.

“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.”

'NOT ALONE'

The involvement of Prince Harry, if any, in the plan is uncertain but it’s thought he could stay in the country for his grandmother’s birthday after leaving his return flight to Los Angeles open.

The Duke of Sussex, 36, jetted into Heathrow ahead of the funeral and self-isolated at Frogmore Cottage in Home Park at Windsor before he was cleared to attend the service.

Harry’s ticket means he could fly back to the Californian home he shares with pregnant wife Meghan, 39, and 23-month-old Archie at any time.

Our source said: “If all goes well, he could stay for the Queen’s birthday.”

Nearly 14million viewers in the UK tuned in to watch the funeral of Prince Philip which was held under Covid conditions, meaning only 30 guests could attend.

Prince Charles is expected to visit his mother sometime this week, driving from his country home Highgrove in Gloucester, some 90-minutes away.

The Countess of Wessex has planned on a number of visits in the coming days, along with her children Louise, 17, and James, 13.

Princess Anne will also visit, coming from her home in Gloucestershire, Gatcombe Park.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who returned to London with Prince William and their three children, is said to have lined up a number of video calls.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the monarch's first public engagement outside of the castle will be to attend the state opening of Parliament on May 11.

‘No separate rules for the royal family’ - Royal expert on Queen sitting alone

Football news:

Paulo Fonseca: It was difficult to beat Manchester United 4:0. Roma scored 3 goals, but they realized almost all their chances
Maguire about 2:3 with Roma: The game was played on opposite courses, like in basketball. Allowed them to create too many chances in the second half
Unai Emery: Arsenal had the best chances to score, but Villarreal deserved to go further
Solskjaer on Manchester United's schedule: This was done by people who have never played football at this level. It is physically impossible for the players
Mikel Arteta: Arsenal were more dominant in the 2nd half, but were not good enough in the 1st
Sulscher reached the final of the European Cup for the first time as a coach. He won the Champions League final with Manchester United as a player
Arsenal did not reach any finals in a season for the first time since 2016