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The Queen uses Prince Philip's walking stick at Sandringham tea party

The monarch lost her husband in April 2021

The Queen has been pictured using her late husband's walking stick at her Sandringham estate, in a sweet tribute to Prince Philip, it has emerged.

Photos from a tea party Her Majesty hosted in the ballroom at her Norfolk abode on Saturday, show the monarch, 95, walking with the aid of a distinctive staff with a carved handle made from horn.

Author and broadcaster, Gyles Brandreth, spotted that the Queen was in fact using the Duke of Edinburgh's favourite walking stick, which he used regularly while managing the Sandringham estate.

READ: The Queen returns to Windsor Castle after officially marking 70-year milestone at Sandringham

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He told The Telegraph: "I recognised the stick instantly as it was always kept in a pot by the front door. It was the Duke's stick and it is very touching that the Queen has started using it."

Prince Philip was last photographed using the aid when he visited a nearby nature reserve after undergoing abdominal surgery in 2013.

Palace aides said at the time that he needed the stick only to help manoeuvre around the muddy Dersingham Bog.

MORE: Princess Anne enjoys sporty outing with Sir Tim Laurence and son-in-law Mike Tindall

MORE: Why Prince Philip was never called King

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The Queen used Prince Philip's walking stick as she hosted the tea party

The Duke passed away at the age of 99 on 9 April 2021 at Windsor Castle, with his funeral taking place at St George's Chapel. He and the Queen were married for 73 years and shared four children, eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Her Majesty has since welcomed a further two great-grandchildren to the family – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's second child, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's daughter, Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi.

In October 2021, the Queen was pictured using a walking stick for the first time in 17 years as she was accompanied by her daughter, the Princess Royal, to a service of Thanksgiving to mark the centenary of the Royal British Legion (RBL) at Westminster Abbey.

The last time she was seen using a walking aid was in 2003, but this was after surgery to remove torn cartilage from her right knee.

MORE: The Queen's Platinum Jubilee portrait pays touching tribute to her parents

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The Duke using the walking stick in Dersingham Bog in 2013

Her Majesty returned to Windsor Castle on Monday after marking her Platinum Jubilee on 6 February. 

She will be resuming her normal duties of audiences, credentials and privy council meetings, continuing to mix both virtual and in person events.

HELLO! also understands that the Queen hopes to attend the Diplomatic Reception at Windsor Castle on 2 March, the Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey on 14 March and a service of thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey on 29 March. 

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