The Queen may begin to step back from royal duties now Prince Philip has died, an expert has warned.
Sarah Richardson, professor of modern British history at the University of Warwick, thinks the Duke of Edinburgh‘s death could be a “turning point”.
Her theory came as the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral yesterday (Saturday, April 17).
What has been said about the Queen’s royal duties?
Ms Richardson said the 94-year-old monarch would have found the service “an ordeal”.
Speaking to the Press Association, she added: “I think she will step back more and more.
“She’s in her mid-90s, and seeing her there solely on her own, when she’s been accompanied by Philip for 70-odd years, I think it represents a turning point.”
The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November.
For more than seven decades, he stayed in the background. But he was always a solid support to his wife.
In 1997, the Queen spoke of his devotion on their golden wedding anniversary.
She said: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”
Why did the Queen sit alone at Prince Philip’s funeral?
Philip died aged 99 on April 9 and his funeral took place yesterday.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Queen had to sit alone at her husband’s funeral.
But scenes of Her Majesty observing social distancing inside St George’s Chapel broke hearts across the nation.
Piers Morgan was among those who pointed out how sad it was.
He wrote on Instagram: “The cruel separation and loneliness suffered by so many in this pandemic, now endured by the world’s most famous woman as she says goodbye to her husband of 73 years. Just devastating.”
Kate Garraway, who almost lost her husband Derek to COVID, meanwhile wrote: “So alone – my heart breaks for her and so so many others who have lost loved ones this year.
“Just shows who ever you are the pain of grief and the loneliness it brings. #heartbreaking.”
The Queen ‘to move out of Buckingham Palace’
Throughout the pandemic, the Queen and Prince Philip have lived permanently at Windsor Castle.
Reports now claim she may never stay overnight at Buckingham Palace again.
Richard Kay, a columnist for the Daily Mail, said staff at the castle have been told she will remain there permanently.
This, he claimed, does not include Christmases at Sandringham and summers in Balmoral.
He added: “While she will return to work at Buckingham Palace, it is unlikely she will ever spend another night there.”
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