Queen Elizabeth Thanks Children for Sending Heartfelt Messages After Prince Philip's Death

Queen Elizabeth II has personally thanked a group of Italian schoolchildren after they sent her condolence drawings to mark the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

The British monarch lost her husband of 73 years on April 9, several weeks after he spent a month in hospital with an infection and for heart surgery.

And with Elizabeth's 95th birthday falling weeks later on April 21, pupils at Arturo Ferrarin primary school in Induno Olona, Varese, got together to show their support for her with a range of heartfelt artistic offerings.

They later learned that their efforts did not go unnoticed when they received a Buckingham Palace embossed letter from Elizabeth, which included a photo of her late husband, who passed away at the age of 99.

A note from Elizabeth read: "I send you my sincere thanks for your kind words of sympathy on the death of my husband. Elizabeth R."

Speaking to Italian newspaper la Repubblica, teacher Silvia Cannella said: "I have always liked the figure of Queen Elizabeth very much, above all because it gives me the impression of being a concrete person, who does not give herself particular airs despite her institutional role.

"I passed on this passion of mine to the children, telling anecdotes in class that aroused their curiosity. For example, they are very fond of hearing me talk about the Queen's affection for her dogs, the colorful hats she wears and the courage she displayed during World War II when she was a mechanic and driver for British Army trucks.

"On the one hand they see her as the protagonist of a fairy tale, on the other they feel her close, more human than she appears on TV or in the newspapers."

The royal family looked visibly moved when they came together for Prince Philip's funeral at Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel on April 17, with the queen sitting alone due to stringent COVID protocols at the time.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wife of the queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, told the BBC in June: "Well he's [Philip's] left a giant-sized hole in our lives. I think unfortunately the pandemic has slightly skewed things, in as much as it's hard to spend as much time with the Queen as we would like to.

"We've been trying to, but of course, it's still not that easy. And of course the normal way of things isn't normal yet, so we're not necessarily doing the things that we would normally have done with him.

"So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely, for us, to take a lot longer. It may be the same for many other families out there.

"Because if you're not living with somebody, 24/7, the immediate loss isn't necessarily felt in the same way, as if somebody was in the house with you all the time."

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II has thanked a group of Italian schoolchildren, after they sent her condolence drawings following the April death of her husband, Prince Philip. Samir Hussein/WireImage/Matt Dunham - WPA Pool / Getty Images