Queen Elizabeth II joined other members of the Royal Family today in Windsor Castle for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh who passed away at the age of 99 on April 9. Due to Covid restrictions, the monarch was made to sit alone during the service.
As the Queen entered St George’s Chapel, she turned and bowed her head one last time at Prince Philip’s coffin before joining the Dean of Westminster in St George’s Chapel.
Sitting socially distanced from other members of the Royal Family, the Queen’s emotions were hidden by her black and white face mask.
However, one body language expert explained that the monarch still managed to look “very determined” despite the circumstances.
The Queen and Prince Philip tied the knot in 1947 at Westminster Abbey and the Duke has been a significant part of the monarch’s life ever since.
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“Sitting isolated in her grief and studying her order of service so closely that her hat covered her head and face from view, the Queen still created a dignified presence, chatting animatedly to the bishop on the way into the chapel and even stopping and turning as though to check that everything was going according to her husband’s plans.
“In the car on arrival there were some clues as to the emotion she was masking.
“Her dabbing gesture at one eye suggested tears and she chatted to her lady in waiting as though glad of the support.”
The expert also shared how Sophie, Countess of Wessex was on hand to support the Queen as she entered the chapel.
“There were some body language reminders that she might turn to Sophie for support at a time when many of her other children and even grandchildren were looking openly distraught,” Judi said.
When the Queen entered the Chapel, the Countess removed her mask to show her support toward the monarch.
Judi explained: “Sophie did appear to be the most attentive royal in terms of offering support to the others and the way she seemed to move forward and take off her mask to show her visible presence to the Queen on the way into the chapel could suggest that she might be one of the Queen’s key sources of support over the difficult next few months.”
After the service had finished and the royals had said their final goodbyes to Prince Philip, they reunited outside as they walked towards the funeral cars.
Prince Charles could be seen reaching for his handkerchief as wife Camilla comforted him.
Analysing their body language, Judi explained: “After a lifetime spent masking his emotions in public Prince Charles appeared overcome by grief and his tears appeared to flow throughout the service.
“Camilla was seen using the same comforting hand-pat that she often used to use in the early days after their relationship went public, showing the same supportive and almost maternal traits that seemed to bind them as a couple before their marriage.”
Prince Charles also removed his face covering as he stepped outside of the chapel.
Judi added: “The royals all seem to have highlighted one aspect of their father’s role in their lives in their tributes and that was as a man they each felt they could turn to in times of trouble.
“This has never seemed to be a role that Charles would slip into naturally now his father had gone and he must feel he has lost the kind of wise and helpful presence he might need to help his mother take the Firm through any looming problems in the years to come.
“It was the Queen who looked solitary and isolated during the service but I wonder if Charles’s tears might have been a sign that he is now feeling the same without his father to guide him.”