The Queen was supported by her son Prince Charles as she carried out her first major public royal engagement since Prince Philip’s death, but they were faced with a particularly heartbreaking detail.
- The Queen made her first official appearance in public since Prince Philip’s passing as she attended the State Opening of Parliament on May 11.
- Prince Philip accompanied Her Majesty to the opening throughout their decades-long marriage, but this year it was Prince Charles who supported her as they faced a particularly heartbreaking detail.
- In other royal news, Duchess Camilla shares a sweet moment with her grandchildren after Covid-19 jab—'We’ve had a sort of half-hug'.
The Queen has carried out her first major royal duty since her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, passed away aged 99 at Windsor Castle last month. Throughout their happy marriage the Duke of Edinburgh was a huge source of support and guidance for his wife and was once described by the monarch as her “strength and stay”.
Prior to his retirement in 2017, Philip accompanied the Queen to the State Opening of Parliament in his role as royal consort. However, this year’s opening was a very poignant affair as the Queen left Windsor Castle, where she spent lockdown with Philip, and travelled to London to attend this important engagement on May 11.
She was supported at this important state occasion by her eldest son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
In a touching moment, Prince Charles held his mother’s hand as they walked through the House of Lords toward the throne. It was here that the two faced a particularly heartbreaking detail that likely reminded them of their devastating loss, as they thought back to previous openings.
Where once there were two thrones, the Sovereign’s Throne and the Consort’s Throne, now there is only one. Prince Philip’s throne was removed, with Charles and Camilla sitting on Chairs of State a short distance away from the Queen.
The sight of Her Majesty sitting alone as she delivered the Queen's Speech to outline the government’s legislative plans was incredibly moving.
This was not the first time that she was supported by Prince Charles at this particular engagement. The heir to the throne has stepped in to accompany the Queen to the State Opening of Parliament on several occasions in the past.
However, the only time he did so prior to Prince Philip’s retirement was in 2017 when his father fell ill, two months before stepping away from public life. Since then, Charles has gone on to attend the State Opening of Parliament twice more, both in 2019.
Due to COVID 19, the 2021 opening was a scaled back occasion and the Queen arrived at the Palace of Westminster in a car rather than by carriage as is traditional.
Fewer politicians and peers attended than usual and the Queen’s speech to open the parliamentary session was placed before her on a table, rather than being handed to her directly.
Though the Queen has carried out several engagements virtually since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, this public appearance and her return to London are hugely significant moments as she continues to mourn him.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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