As Queen Elizabeth prepares to face her first Christmas without her husband of 70 years, the life and work of Prince Philip has been honoured with a moving tribute at her treasured Sandringham estate.
The monarch admitted that the death of Prince Philip in April this year, at the age of 99, has left “a huge void” in her life.
Earlier this week, on November 25, her eldest son Prince Charles helped to install a fitting symbol to his late father at Sandringham, which will be waiting to greet the Queen when she arrives to celebrate Christmas later this month.
A new avenue of 60 common lime trees has now been planted on the Norfolk estate where the Duke of Edinburgh spent much of his retirement after withdrawing from public life in 2017. Prince Philip resided inside Wood Farm, a secluded five-bedroom farmhouse, overlooking the sea, until the pandemic forced him to relocate with the Queen and a small staff to Windsor Castle.
Selecting a cause that was sacred to his late father, the Prince of Wales hosted the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) at Sandringham for the special planting ceremony to commemorate Prince Philip’s half-century of involvement with the Trust.
Prince Charles was snapped digging a hole for a tree, kitted out casually in his “gardening attire” – a tartan flat cap, green jacket and beige trousers.
In time, the line of trees will become a wildlife habitat on the estate, said the Trust’s chairman Sir Jim Paice DL, who was also present at the touching ceremony.
“GWCT trustees and vice-presidents chose to gift a new avenue of trees at Sandringham as a fitting tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s remarkable contribution to the Trust and to conservation as a whole,” Sir Jim said.
“The conservation movement and the GWCT, in particular, may have lost an extraordinary champion, but we are delighted to help assure his legacy at Sandringham today.”
Sandringham Castle has long been the Queen’s private home and as the property where the Windsors celebrate Christmas, it has always held a special place in her heart.
The Queen is expected to continue with her annual tradition of hosting Christmas at Sandringham this year, despite being beset with ailing health in recent months.