Amid the carefully co-ordinated activity behind the scenes ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday, senior Royals are continuing to carry out their duties with a dignity that is imbedded in their roles in public life.
The Queen returned to her Royal duties just four days after the death of her beloved husband on Friday at the age of 99, while the Princess Royal was herself conducting a public engagement yesterday.
The stoicism which is being displayed by members of the Royal Family as they observe a two-week period of mourning was praised by the Queen’s representatives in the Yorkshire region.
The Lord Lieutenant for the East Riding of Yorkshire, Jim Dick, said: “Despite the huge loss and deep sense of mourning which the Queen and other members of the Royal Family are experiencing, there is also a deep sense of duty.
“The Duke himself would have wanted them all to carry on with their roles in public life. But I do feel that the recognition that the Duke and the Royal Family as a whole have received in recent days shows the regard in which they are held not just here in the UK, but across the world.”
Jo Ropner, the Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, echoed Mr Dick’s sentiments, claiming the Queen had shown an “extraordinary resilience” since the passing of her husband of 73 years.
Mrs Ropner added: “The Queen is the most remarkable lady, she has dedicated herself to a long life of public service, and her family, the British public and her country are so incredibly important to her.
“She has shown such leadership over the decades, especially in recent times during the Covid-19 crisis. While this is such a desperately sad time for her with the loss of the Duke, it is clear that she is as committed to her role in public life as she ever was.”
On Tuesday, the 94-year-old monarch hosted her first in-person event since Philip’s passing on Friday to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel.
And the Princess Royal yesterday met with members of the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight, the prestigious club Prince Philip was once admiral of.
The Royal Family’s return to work comes as preparations are under way for the Duke’s funeral, which will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF alongside top military officers at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
The Earl Peel, who has retired after more than 14 years in the post, had overseen arrangements for the Duke’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge.
He handed responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker of Minsmere, just over a week before Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle.
The Lord Chamberlain oversees all senior appointments in the household, is the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords and ensures co-ordination between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.
During a ceremony at Windsor Castle, the Queen accepted her former Royal aide’s wand and insignia of office.
She recently conferred a prestigious honour on the Earl Peel, making him a Permanent Lord in Waiting.
It will be a Royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell to the Duke.
The Queen is staying at Windsor with a reduced number of 22 staff, in what has been dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’.
The Duke’s long-standing close aide, his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, will be one of the few, and possibly only, non-Royals invited to attend the historic occasion inside St George’s Chapel.
As a member of HMS Bubble, he may be the only person eligible to sit with the Queen.