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The Queen has spoken publicly about Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, for the first time since he sadly passed away earlier this year.
The Duke of Edinburgh died on 9 April 2021, at the age of 99. Her Majesty and Philip had been married for 73 years. In a statement, the Royal Family described Philip as the Queen's 'beloved husband'.
As she officially opened the new session of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood on Saturday morning (2 October), the Queen spoke warmly about how much she and Prince Philip had enjoyed spending time in Scotland.
Speaking to MSPs in the Scottish parliament's debating chamber, she said (via The Times), 'I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country, and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here.'
She continued: 'It is often said that it is the people that make a place, and there are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we have seen in recent times.'
The Queen had previously shared a photo of herself and Prince Philip sitting together in a beauty spot in the Coyles of Muick in Aberdeenshire, a 30-minute drive from the Queen's Scottish residence Balmoral.
Earlier on in her speech, the Queen said: 'The beginning of a new session is a time for renewal and fresh thinking, providing an opportunity to look to the future and our future generations.
'Today is also a day where we can celebrate those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the lives of other people in Scotland, locally or nationally, during the Covid-19 pandemic.'
The Queen – who has been on her annual break at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire – was accompanied by the Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall.
In response to the Queen's speech, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered the Scottish parliament's 'deep sympathy and shared sorrow' for her loss.
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