The Queen was joined by other members of the Royal Family on Tuesday at a memorial service for her beloved late husband Prince Philip. Her Majesty, 95, made the appearance at Westminster Abbey in her first official royal engagement outside of a royal residence in almost six months.
However, between the Queen’s appearance at the Welsh Parliament and yesterday’s service in which she held onto the elbow of the Duke of York, the monarch has contracted COVID-19 and was even ruled out from attending last November’s COP26 summit in Glasgow after she was advised to rest for at least two weeks following an overnight hospital visit.
But body language expert Judi James told OK! the Queen appeared in good spirits as she approaches her 96th birthday in little over three weeks’ time.
Ms James said: “The Queen herself was a masterclass in control and stoicism.
“This was the first time she has used a supporting arm in public as well as a stick but any physical frailty did not seem to reflect her emotional strength and will-power.”
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She added: “Once she had taken her seat she busied herself finding her glasses in her bag and sat confident and alert throughout the service, wearing a firm lip-clamp to suggest resolve and courage while many around her dissolved into tears.”
Ms James also said: “She stood unaided throughout the hymns and she appeared to allow no fussing from any of her children bar the obvious one.
“It was Andrew she chose to attend to her and to be her escort and it was Andrew who was therefore appearing in his father’s place too, standing behind his mother in that familiar, hands-behind-the-back pose of Philip’s and joining in the laughter and smiles as the Queen chatted to her hosts.”
Alongside Prince Andrew, the Queen was joined by Prince Charles, future Queen consort Camilla Parker-Bowles, as well as the families of Princess Anne and Prince Edward.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also brought Prince George and Princess Charlotte to the service.
Behind them sat minor royals, blue-blooded Europeans and members of the aristocracy, including King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia.
The service, which took place less than a year after the Duke of Edinburgh passed away aged 99 in April, looked starkly different to Prince Philip’s funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Last spring, a mask-wearing Queen sat alone, in contrast, on Tuesday, she was joined by rows of guests.
The monarch shared snaps of the service on Instagram alongside a caption which read: “Today, at Westminster Abbey, The Queen was joined by members of The Royal Family, The Duke of Edinburgh’s wider family and friends and representatives from over 500 of The Duke’s patronages and charities to celebrate his life at a Service of Thanksgiving.”
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The post was warmly received by fans of the Firm with more than 261,000 likes.
Users also took to the comment section to share their thoughts on the event.
@ale_campos_gua said: “Love the respect everyone had for Prince Philip!”
@juliemoo1960 wrote: “A beautiful tribute to an amazing man.”
@nathalia_adc added: “I’m glad the Quen was able to attend the Thanksgiving.”