After 73 years of marriage, the monarch said her final goodbyes to her beloved husband.
On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II was seen wiping away her tears as she mourned alone in St George's Chapel during Prince Philip's Windsor Castle funeral. Describing her husband of 73 years as her "strength and stay," the monarch bid the Duke of Edinburgh her final adieu. According to Daily Mail, the 94-year-old Queen looked quite grief-stricken as she bowed her head in respect while accompanying her beloved husband's coffin on its final journey. Their eldest son, Prince Charles, couldn't hold back his tears as he walked behind his father's casket along with other devastated members of the Royal family.
Prince Philip's coffin was reportedly covered in his personal standard and carried his naval cap, sword, as well as a wreath of flowers which contained a handwritten note from his beloved wife. He was then placed on his extraordinary green Land Rover Defender hearse (which was designed by the Duke himself) in the Windsor Castle's quadrangle, which was packed with hundreds of armed personnel. The coffin was eventually lowered into the Royal Vault following an eight-minute procession and a 50-minute service. In light of the pandemic, one piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland played a lament, before buglers of Prince Philip's favorite Royal Marines sounded the 'Last Post.' They also played the late Duke's specifically requested 'Action Stations.'
After the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, pronounced the Blessing, 30 royal mourners exited the church silently and were transported back to the castle via cars. But Prince Harry and William, and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate, decided to walk back as they exchanged smiles and a few words after being reunited for the first time following the controversies. Per Daily Mail, her Majesty arrived at the funeral the national anthem played and the royal Bentley stopped right next to her husband's coffin. She paused there for a moment of reflection as cannons were fired and bells were tolled in honor of the duke.
The Queen was subsequently driven to St George's Chapel with her lady in waiting, Susan Hussey, before being seated at the front of the church. There she stood with a bowed head during the national minute's silence. Prince Philip passed away on April 9, after loyally serving as the Queen's consort for decades. He peacefully died at Windsor Castle just two months shy of turning 100. Although his casket was laid to rest in Windsor Castle, it is reported that it will be removed and buried beside the Queen's casket when she dies.
We reported how the Queen broke protocol and resumed her royal duties just four days after the Duke of Edinburgh's death. Her first in-person event following her husband's passage took place on was hosted at Windsor where William Peel stepped down from his position as Lord Chamberlain. The Queen's decision to resume her royal duties did not come as a surprise to senior staffers. "Her family will step up and be by her side, but she will carry on," a former aide of the palace told PEOPLE. "She understands that she has a job to do, and [Philip] would have wanted her to crack on. She did do so when he retired from public life." Another royal insider added, "She will never abdicate because of duty and honor and public service is so deep in her, as it was for him."
The death of her husband must have left an unfillable void in the Queen's heart as we reported earlier that her Majesty "never looked at anyone else" but her Philip whom she first met in 1934 at the wedding. Prince Philip once told his friend and private secretary Mike Parker that "his constant job is looking after the Queen. He told me his job first, second, and last was never to let her down." In 1997, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, the Queen fondly said that Prince Philip, "has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years."