Heartbreaking Photos Show Queen Elizabeth II Sitting Alone At State Opening Following Prince Philip’s Death
May 12, 2021 by apost team
Queen Elizabeth on her first major public ceremonial duty since the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, when she attended, a scaled-back State Opening of Parliament on May 11, 2021. Philip, who was the nation's longest-reigning consort, passed away a few weeks ago on April 9. The duke, who was 99 when he passed, spent decades accompanying his wife to the grand occasion, taking his place on an ornate golden throne directly at his wife's side.
The queen, 95, has kept up with her work as sovereign at Windsor Castle even though she has been mourning the loss of her beloved husband of 73 years.
Her appearance at the State Opening will be the queen's first official time in public while in her role as the UK's head of state, and her first event outside of Windsor Castle since Prince Philip's passing just over a month ago. Her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, joined the queen at the event, but there was considerably less pomp than usual due to current and recent events.
Charles has already been at his mother's side for the last three state openings in December 2019, October 2019, and June 2017. He took over for his father after Prince Philip fell ill with an infection and then retired from his public duties as a royal in 2017.
Photos from the event show that she sat on a single ornate golden throne, where, previously there have been a pair of thrones, one each for the Queen and her consort.
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Prince Philip died on April 9, 2021, and was laid to rest in the Royal Vault at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The late prince was buried alongside former kings of England and other royals, the Associated Press reported. Images from inside the funeral, where only a select group of 30 people could attend due to coronavirus restrictions, showed Elizabeth sitting alone in the chapel. The queen was said to be heartbroken after losing her "strength and stay."
Philip's passing ended his reign as the longest-serving royal spouse, having served alongside Queen Elizabeth II for 65 years and having been married to the monarch for 73 years in total. His singular and incredible life continues to be remembered and celebrated by his family. Now that the official mourning period is over, the queen is getting back to her royal duties.
Her first appearance in public at an official event was the State Opening of Parliament. This event is usually the most colorful event of the parliamentary year and follows traditions and customs that date back centuries. The queen officially marks the beginning of the parliamentary session as she delivers what is called the Queen's Speech. In this speech, she will set out and describe the government's legislative plans for the upcoming year. The reigning political party's representatives usually prepare the speech.
The State Opening is usually known for its grand pomp and splendor, involving hundreds of people, elaborate dresses and costumes, and several ceremonies. It was scaled back this year due to the pandemic.
Normally, the queen is seated along with her consort, Prince Philip, during the State Opening of Parliament. Since this was her first address since Philip's passing, heartbreaking photos show her sitting alone on the throne for the first time since her ascention to the throne.
Charles, who escorted her, was to be seated separately because of the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. The Guardian reported that it was not necessary to transport the consort’s throne to the Palace of Westminster for the occasion, so she is seen sitting on a solitary throne with no one else besides her. Instead, the throne remained where it currently is and is stored in the care of the lord's great chamberlain. If circumstances at the next state opening are back to normal and Charles is to be seated next to Elizabeth, the throne will be brought back in place.
The royal gallery where the event took place is usually filled with people, but on May 11, there were just 34 seated guests – 17 peers and 17 MPs who practiced social distancing and were wearing masks. Everyone present also had to have proof of a negative Covid test.
For the ceremony, Elizabeth wore a lilac coat over a floral dress. The matching aquamarine brooches were the highlight of her coat as they hold a very special meaning for the queen. Express UK reported that the gorgeous gems were given to then-Princess Elizabeth for her 18th birthday in 1944 by her parents. The brooches are made of clear aquamarines and diamonds and can be worn either as one large oval brooch or separately as they were for the State Opening.
This may have not been easy for Queen Elizabeth, but she has shown immense strength and grace through this time. What do you think of how she has been handling her grief after Philip's passing? Tell us your thoughts, and be sure to let your friends know as well.