A former senior staffer says that the monarch knowns "she had a job to do" and that her late husband would have expected her to "crack on."
Just four days after the Duke of Edinburgh's death, the Queen has resumed her royal duties and in doing so, she had broken protocol. The royal family is known for following strict courtesies and rules in the event of the death of a senior member of the family. Following the death of Prince Philip, her Majesty was expected to enter a mourning period for eight days. No new law could be passed during this time and affairs of the state were supposed to be put on hold as a way of showing respect for the monarch's loss. Following these eight days, the Queen was said to undergo a further 30 days of mourning before finally resuming her public duties and engagements. However, her first in-person event following the death of her husband was hosted at Windsor where William Peel stepped down from his position as Lord Chamberlain.
"The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain," shared the daily record of public duties of the British Monarchy according to PEOPLE. According to The Guardian, the earl had supervised all the arrangements for the Duke's funeral which was known as Operation Forth Bridge. The responsibility for the operation was then handed to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Andrew Parker. He did so just a week before Prince Phillip passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Office - led by the monarch's Comptroller, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon- has been tasked with the practical side of the service which happens today. That being said, Lord Parker will be the overall in charge after he took up his new role on April 1 following Peel's retirement after reserving for more than 14 years 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."
It has been speculated that the Queen may have to sit by herself during the funeral which will be held in St George’s chapel due to the COVID-19 restrictions of social distancing. For 73 years Prince Phillip had been a constant pillar of support for the Queen but with his death at the age of 99, it has been lost. Announcing the news, the palace released a statement that read: It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
We previously reported how the Queen "never looked at anyone else" but her Philip whom she first met in 1934 at the wedding of the late Duke's cousin who was marrying Elizabeth's uncle, the Duke of Kent. She was smitten by him but it was only in 1939 that a young naval cadet Philip was entrusted to entertain a 13-year-old Elizabeth and her sister Margaret while her parents were on tour at the Britannia Royal Naval College, in Dartmouth, southwestern England. During WWII their romance bloomed and when she turned 21, the palace announced her engagement to Philip who was given the title of Duke of Edinburgh.
With her father, King George VI's, sudden death she was crowned the Queen, and her husband eventually gave up his promising military career to support his wife. "They were one of the world's most famous and successful working partnerships," reports Sky News. 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." Surely, his demise has left an unfillable void in her life now. We pray and hope that she overcomes this tough time.