It was her “strength and support”: Queen Elizabeth II now faces the pity of her rule without her husband, Prince Philip, as she must continue her arduous mission, while leading a troubled family marked by crisis.
Also read: Harry and William honor their grandfather
Many observers have credited the Duke of Edinburgh, who will be 100 years old in June, with managing the iron fist of the royal family, for helping the Queen overcome the scandals that rocked the palace.
Their second son Prince Andrew said Saturday that Philip’s death left a “huge void in his life” after he suddenly emerged from retirement as his sulfurous friendship with the American child sex financier Geoffrey Epstein brought him down.
“The queen is an incredibly sober person,” he said, adding that the entire royal family “was rallying to be there to support her.”
Since last week, its main members have followed each other with the Queen, particularly her three sons. According to Edward the Younger, Elizabeth II “withstood” despite the immeasurable shock of this loss.
“Serve your country”
After her husband’s death, some question whether the Queen, who will turn 95 next week, will not abdicate and make way for her eldest son, Prince Charles, who is already 72.
And according to the Times, the king decided, for example, not to receive the famous red boxes containing government documents for the two weeks that royal mourning will continue.
But for Benny Junor, “there is no possibility that the Queen will abdicate the throne.” “At the age of 21, she promised to serve her country all her life, long or short,” the royal expert told AFP, referring to the famous Cape Town speech delivered by Elizabeth She in 1947, when she was still a princess. .
“As long as she is in good physical and mental health, she will continue to work as usual,” says Junor.
The first signs are already pointing in this direction: for example, Her Majesty preserved her meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson the day after the death of her husband. Starting Tuesday, four days after her husband’s death, she made her first formal engagement to retire the supreme official of the royal house.
To make up for the absence of Philip, who has always been by her side since taking the throne in 1952, the Queen has had to rely more during official events on Crown Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, as well as on his son, grandfather. William, second in succession, and wife Kate.
Charles had already taken on more duties in recent years, including representing the crown abroad. He is expected to accompany his mother at the official opening of Parliament on May 11th.
The paper says it must, however, continue to assume some obligations on its own.
The position of Elizabeth II stands in stark contrast to that of the last British Queen, Victoria, who, after the death of her husband Albert in 1861, barely appeared in public, and remained black for four decades. Her withdrawal earned her the nickname “The Widow of Windsor” and boosted the popularity of the Republican movement.
The challenges ahead
After Philip’s death, public sympathy for the Queen, who had always been very popular, remained extremely high. His presence and longevity at the helm of the United Kingdom helped rule out Republican tendencies.
Now, succeeding his father as the eldest man in the royal family, Prince Charles and the King will have to face the urgent series of troubles that anger the “company”.
Andrew’s public appearance last weekend sparked outrage in some quarters, as the US judiciary continues to seek to question his relationship with Epstein.
The palace also faces the repercussions of the withdrawal of Prince Harry, the Queen’s grandson, and his wife Megan Markle last year, as well as their recent explosive accusations of racism within the royal family, in a shocking American television interview.
Harry and his brother William will be reunited on Saturday for their grandfather’s funeral and the state questions whether this shared mourning could have “positive consequences”: “Perhaps Prince Philip’s death will allow Harry to reconcile with William and his father,” the royal expert speculates.