Queen shares touching photo tribute to 'strength and stay' Prince Philip day after husband of 73 years dies

THE Queen has shared a touching photo tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh – a day after her husband of 73 years died at the age of 99.

Her Majesty referred to Prince Philip as "my strength and stay all these years" in a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.

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Now the royals have shared an image of the couple smiling for an official portrait on their official Instagram account.

And the caption includes parts of the toast the Queen made to her husband 24 years ago.

She had said: "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 comes as:

  • The Queen has told of her 'deep sorrow' after Philip's death
  • Her Majesty will be "lost" without Prince Philip as he was her "world", the Duke’s cousin says
  • Harry wants ‘nothing more’ than to be with the Queen – but it's not yet known if Meghan will fly back to the UK to join him
  • Boris Johnson is among the leading figures to pay tribute to ‘extraordinary’ Prince Philip
  • The Tower of London and Navy warships will lead a gun salute in honour of Prince Philip at noon today

The Queen spoke of her devastation at the death of her "beloved" husband yesterday.

She was at Philip's bedside when he died, it's thought.

The Duke of Edinburgh is believed to have spent his final days in "good form" reading and writing letters "in the sun" weeks before his 100th birthday.

Despite officials at the Palace declined to "go into any specifics" about the Duke's passing, it is understood that his condition worsened overnight on Thursday with insiders warning that he had become "gravely ill".

However, any talk of whisking Prince Philip back to the hospital was reportedly dismissed by the Queen.

True to form, in his final days, the Prince said to have insisted on looking after himself.

He refused to wear a hearing aid – leading to his wife being overheard saying "means we have to shout".

And the royal reportedly chastised staff who put a wheelchair in his private rooms and insisted on dressing himself in recent months.

One aide told the Daily Mail he insisted on bending to the floor and picking up his dropped reading glasses, saying "I'll do it" when a footman sprung forward.

The monarch's moving tribute to her husband was posted on the social networking site this morning.

The Instagram post reads: "At the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty’s ‘liege man of life and limb.’

"The Duke was a devoted consort – or companion to the Sovereign – for almost 70 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death."

Philip was the Queen's support in public at the most significant national moments.

But he was also the person who knew her best.

A private secretary once said: "Prince Philip is the only man in the world who treats the Queen simply as another human being.

"He's the only man who can."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among the public figures to have paid tribute.

Speaking from a podium in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: "He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

"With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.

"We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.

"Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her 'strength and stay', of more than 70 years."

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