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Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her 95th birthday today. And she’s using the occasion to speak out for the first time since announcing the loss of her husband, Prince Philip.

On Wednesday, the monarch released a personal statement via Buckingham Palace thanking fans and followers for their birthday wishes as well as their ongoing support during this difficult time in her family.

The message, which was also shared on the official Royal Family Instagram, began, “I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate. While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.”

“My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life."

She simply signed the letter, “Elizabeth R.”

Yesterday, Prince William was the first to speak out on social media since the service at Windsor Castle (although his message was not regarding the loss of his grandfather).

The queen usually commemorates her birth publicly with the Trooping the Colour ceremony in June, however, this has been canceled for the second year in a row. And while don’t know exactly how she will be celebrating this year, Buckingham Palace previously revealed she will be "spending it privately.”

Happy birthday, Liz. Sending you lots of love and birthday wishes.

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