Queen heartbreak: Monarch is not immune to ’emotion’ – cannot imagine her ‘loneliness’

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All eyes will today be on Her Majesty as she publicly bids farewell to the Duke of Edinburgh as millions watch the televised funeral. But behind the grandeur of the historic occasion is a widow mourning the loss of the only man she ever loved, her husband of more than 73 years and the father of her four children.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Richard Kay said: “It would not be difficult to overlook the Queen’s anguish.

“To deceive oneself into believing the sovereign impregnable to the wounding arrows of common emotion.

“But she was also a wife. Philip was her adviser, supporter and the one who made her laugh.

“One can only try to imagine the depth of her loneliness.”

At 94 the monarch has had to accept the stark reality that personal loss is going to be part of her old age.

And over the past year thousands upon thousands of families across the UK have been forced to say goodbye to loved ones taken by the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike many people her age grieving the passing of her spouse, the Queen has the support of her wider family.

Prince Charles, 72, is expected to step up significantly in his royal duties in the wake of the death of his father.

The heir to the throne is expected to be joined by Prince William in taking on more responsibilities as the Royal Family readjusts to a future without their patriarch.

The duke, decorated war hero, will today be remembered for his commitment and dedication to the Queen when he is laid to rest.

His coffin will be covered with a wreath, his sword, Naval cap and his personal standard.

It will be carried to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on the back of a specially-designed Land Rover hearse.

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The Queen had the difficult task of cutting down numbers to abide by Covid regulations.

She was also keen to avoid drawing crowds to the castle, and so the palace told members of the public to stay at home and watch the funeral on TV.

Despite a plea to not leave floral tributes outside royal residences, royal fans have turned up in their thousands to lay bouquets and cards at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle since last week.

And this morning people began turning up outside the castle to pay their respects.

Benches on the pavement filled with people shortly after 10am as the temperature rose.

Police officers could be seen regularly speaking to pedestrians, while more stewards are in place near the castle.

This morning final preparations for the funeral were underway, with the duke’s coffin being moved by a bearer party, from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The consort’s remains were taken from Windsor Castle’s private chapel to the inner hall ahead of the church service which will start at 3pm.

Philip had a close association with the regiment serving as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards for 42 years.

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