Queen Elizabeth Used Prince Philip's Cane During Latest Outing in Touching Nod to Her Late Husband

In a message for her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen said she was "blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it"

Queen Elizabeth had a subtle reminder of her late husband Prince Philip with her during her first outing of the new year.

The monarch, 95, stepped out on Saturday to host a reception at Sandringham House on the eve of her Accession Day, which marked the 70th anniversary of when she became Queen. Surrounded by representatives from local charities and members of the Sandringham Estate, she cut a special cake that was decorated with the emblem of the Platinum Jubilee and was given gifts, including a mosaic created by local children — all while carrying a cane.

But there was a special meaning to the walking stick: it previously belonged to Prince Philip, who died last April at the age of 99.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence, after a reception with representatives from local community groups to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee on February 5, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth carrying her bag and her walking stick. Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

"I recognized 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's biographer Gyles Brandreth told The Telegraph.

queen elizabeth and prince philip
Queen Elizabeth; Prince Philip. Joe Giddens - by WPA Pool/Getty Images; Chris Radburn - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Although Prince Philip last used the cane publicly back in 2013 while recovering from abdominal surgery, he used it more recently while working on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, which he managed.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II cuts a cake to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee during a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House, the Queen's Norfolk residence on February 5, 2022.
Queen Elizabeth. Joe Giddens/POOL/AFP via Getty

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Queen Elizabeth stepped out with a walking stick in October 2021 for a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, marking the first time she used a cane publicly since 2003 when she used a cane while she was recovering from knee surgery.

Prince Philip was top of mind as the monarch marked her Platinum Jubilee. In a statement released Saturday for the occasion, she wrote that she was "blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it."

Queen Elizabeth Sporting the Crown Through the Years
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. getty

The Queen also confirmed her "sincere wish" for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall to be known as Queen Consort when Prince Charles takes the throne.

Royal historian Robert Lacey tells PEOPLE, "In the message, she was acknowledging her own mortality and looking to the future. As she thought about her father George VI, she would have also thought about her mother and the importance she played as a partner to him."

He adds, "And then, of course, with the passing of Prince Philip, she is considering the sacrifices and difficulties of being a consort."

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