Queen Elizabeth Shares Festive St. Patrick's Day Message as Prince Philip Returns Home from Hospital
Queen Elizabeth is kicking off St. Patrick's Day one day early.
On Tuesday, the 94-year-old monarch released a holiday message to Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and the people of Ireland, where she recalled her historic visit in 2011.
"On the occasion of your National Day, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Ireland," she said.
"This year marks ten years since my visit to Ireland, which I remember fondly, and it marks a significant centenary across these islands," the Queen continued. "We share ties of family, friendship and affection — the foundation of our partnership that remains as important today as ten years ago."
The Queen signed off with some words in Ireland's native language: "Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir," meaning "Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you."
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On social media, the note was accompanied by several photos of the Queen on her 2011 tour, which was the first official visit to Ireland by a monarch since 1911. Her trip included a stop by a market in Cork and sporting arena Croke Park in Dublin.
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The royals typically celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Kate Middleton and Prince William attending the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks and meeting with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. The festivities often include a pint of Guinness!
However, the parade was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This St. Patrick's Day will be extra special for Queen Elizabeth. On Tuesday, her husband Prince Philip, 99, returned to Windsor Castle, reuniting the couple following his four week-stay in the hospital.
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In a brief statement to PEOPLE confirming he was back home at the castle, a palace spokesperson said, "The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII's Hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition.
"His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him at both King Edward VII's Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital, and everyone who has sent their good wishes."
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