Queen abdication: Monarch will NOT step down as head of state despite Prince Philip death

Prince Philip funeral: Expert slams thought of Queen sat alone

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The Queen, 94, will today lead the nation in mourning as the funeral takes place for the Duke of Edinburgh. Philip passed away peacefully on April 9 at Windsor Castle at the remarkable age of 99. The World War Two hero was married to the Queen for 73 years and stood by her side throughout her historic reign of 68-years and counting.

Royal expert Grant Harrold said the Queen will continue to honour her promise she made to serve her country until death, despite the loss of her husband.

The former butler to Prince Charles from 2004-2011, referred to a pledge the-then Princess Elizabeth made on her 21st birthday to serve the UK and Commonwealth for her “whole life”.

Mr Harrold told Express.co.uk: “Without question the Duke’s death will as with anyone affect the Queen personally as he was her consort, husband and best friend.

“However, I do not see his death affect her bearing as head of state.

“As this is something she undertook in her 20’s and made it clear on her 21st Birthday she would devote her entire life, long or short to her role of Queen and head of state.”

The Queen made the promise during a royal visit to Cape Town in April, 1947.

She said: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II just five years later, following the death of her father King George VI in February, 1952.

Her coronation took place more than a year later in June 1953 and she has reigned ever since.

Queen Elizabeth II became the UK’s longest-serving monarch on September 9, 2015.

The Queen surpassed the 63 years, seven months and two day-long reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

The Queen demonstrated her incredible dedication to duty this week and conducted a royal engagement just four days after Prince Philip’s death.

On Tuesday, the monarch hosted a private ceremony at Windsor Castle, where the Earl Peel formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain.

The official engagement was recorded in the Court Circular – a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and members of the Royal Family.

The Earl Peel, who office organises royal ceremonies, had overseen arrangements for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

The funeral of Prince Philip will take place later this afternoon at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

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Buckingham Palace released details of the funeral on Thursday evening and confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will arrive at the chapel on a custom-built Land Rover hearse.

It was also confirmed Prince Harry and Prince William will not walk shoulder to shoulder when they join senior royals taking part in the funeral procession.

The Queen is expected to sit by herself in the Quire of St George’s Chapel, with all 30 mourners following Covid guidelines and remaining socially distanced.

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