Prince Charles to step in for the Queen following death of her close friend

The Queen's longtime confidant, Ann Fortune Fitzroy, died on Friday

Prince Charles to step in for the Queen after friend's death
(Image credit: JONATHAN BRADY / Contributor / Getty Images)

Prince Charles will present an award on behalf of the Queen tomorrow, following the devastating news that his mother's close friend has died. 

Prince Charles is expected to step out on behalf of his mother at a public engagement tomorrow, following the news that his mother's longtime confidant and lady-in-waiting had died. 

The Queen suffered heartbreaking grief last week after her close friend, Ann Fortune Fitzroy, Duchess of Grafton, passed away at the age of 101. The devastating loss came as just another low point in an incredibly difficult year for Her Majesty, who lost her husband, Prince Philip, in April, after 73 years of marriage. 

Clarence House has now confirmed that the Prince of Wales will attend a prestigious awards ceremony on his mother's behalf at St. James's Palace in London on Wednesday. 

As one of the Queen's four Councillors of State, the 73-year-old is automatically expected to stand in for the 95-year-old monarch should she be unable to attend an event. He shares the lofty title with the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex and Prince Andrew, but it has recently been speculated that Lady Louise will replace Prince Harry for the important role. 

Prince William, Charles and Harry in 2014

(Image credit: Getty)

Charles will present the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering to Isamu Akasaki, Shuji Nakamura, Nick Holonyak Jr, M. George Craford, and Russell Dupuis for the creation and development of LED lighting, in a luxurious reception at the royal residence. The annual £500,000 prize was launched in 2013 to recognize "bold, groundbreaking engineering innovation which is of global benefit to humanity" and hopes to "inspire young minds to consider engineering as a career choice." 

Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation Lord Browne of Madingley, Richard Schwartz, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Bradford Parkinson, Hugo Fruehauf and wife of the late James Spilker, Mrs Anna Marie Spilker pose at Buckingham Palace during the presentation of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering at Buckingham Palace on December 3, 2019 in London. (Photo by Chris Jackson

Prince Charles at the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering on December 3, 2019 in London.

(Image credit: Getty)

The winner of the honor will also take home a 3D printed trophy, which is designed by the champion of the annual 'Create the Trophy competition', a venture to encourage young people aged between 14 and 24 to develop their own engineering skills. 

The Queen is currently residing at Windsor Castle, having been advised by doctors to rest after a bout of recent health scares. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.