Queen Elizabeth was 'calm' ahead of Prince Philip's death but her loss is 'incalculable', says duke’s cousin
Queen Elizabeth II, following the death of her husband, entered an eight-day period of mourning. The monarch will reportedly refrain from carrying out any royal duties during this time and affairs of state will also be put on pause
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, father of Prince Charles, died on Friday at Windsor Castle in England. He was 99. His death was announced by Buckingham Palace, which said he passed away peacefully. Philip and Elizabeth got married on November 20, 1947. At the time, he was 26, and the then-young crown princess was 21.
A New York Times obituary for the Duke noted that at the time of their marriage, “the sun had all but set on its empire,” adding that “Philip occupied a peculiar place on the world stage as the husband of a queen whose powers were largely ceremonial. He was essentially a second-fiddle figurehead, accompanying her on royal visits and sometimes standing in for her.” Ceremonial powers or not, Philip played an important role in the Queen’s life and his passing has rightly affected the royal matriarch.
How is Queen Elizabeth dealing with the loss?
Queen Elizabeth, following the death, entered an eight-day period of mourning. The monarch will reportedly refrain from carrying out any royal duties during this time. Affairs of state will also be put on pause.
Following the eight days, a further period of official royal mourning is expected to continue. While the country is expected to go into a period of 10 days of mourning, the royal household, as per reports, will do so for 30 days, and guardsmen will be seen with black armbands on their tunics during that period.
Buckingham Palace, in its official statement already mentioned that the Queen was experiencing “deep sorrow” in the wake of Philip’s passing. Now, Lady Myra Butter, a cousin to Prince Philip, paid tribute to him after his death, calling the Queen's loss "incalculable." During a television appearance, Lady Myra was asked what Her Majesty had lost, and what her husband meant to her. Lady Myra quickly replied: "The world, I think. Incalculable."
Despite this, it was also reported that the Queen had already braced herself for his passing, following years of health troubles. Former press secretary to the Queen, Charles Anson said on Friday that the 94-year-old monarch was prepared for Philip’s death simply because she thought about it so much where it became second nature to accept the inevitable.
"She would have thought about this moment several times and her way would be to remain as steady and as calm as possible," Anson said. "That comes naturally to her through her temperament and her experience."
Anson added, "In my years of working for her she was always calm, no matter what was going on. But for any human being, this is a very cathartic moment."
In the days leading up to Philip’s death, the Queen was surrounded by her inner circle of those within her household and was given an "enormous amount of family support" and will "also take comfort from the enormity of the support from all over the world," Anson said.