Britain's royal couple, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
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Queen Elizabeth Resumes Royal Duties Following Death Of Prince Philip

Just four days after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth has returned to her royal duties. Her Royal Highness held a ceremony for the retirement of her household’s most senior official, the Lord Chamberlain.

Queen Elizabeth returns to royal duties

Prince Philip passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday, April 9. The royal family has been in mourning ever since. However, Queen Elizabeth held her first in-person royal event to host a ceremony for William Peel, as he formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain.

Peel had been in the post of Lord Chamberlain for 14 years. Prior to his retirement, he has overseen the arrangements for Prince Philip’s funeral, known as Operation Forth Bridge. The former Lord Chamberlain has officially handed over the responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief, Andrew Parker.

The Queen’s Comptroller, Lt. Col. Michael Vernon of the office is tasked with the practical side of the funeral service. However, Lord Parker, who took over his new role on April 1 following Peel’s retirement is in overall charge of the event to be held on Saturday, April 17.

Queen Elizabeth at Prince Philip’s funeral

Speculation in the media says that Queen Elizabeth may have to sit alone during the funeral at St. George’s chapel. This is due to COVID-19 rules, which state people must stay at least 6 ft (2 m) apart from anyone who is not part of their household.

As the Queen doesn’t live alone, she doesn’t meet the requirements to join a support bubble. However, according to the Guardian, a member of her Windsor Castle royal staff will be allowed to sit with her. In any event, it seems unlikely that the Queen will not have someone to accompany her to Philip’s funeral.

COVID-19 regulations at the funeral

Due to the ongoing pandemic, only 30 mourners will be allowed to attend the funeral service. Under COVID-19 rules, they must wear face coverings throughout the service and will not be allowed to sing. Under government rules, only one “professional” person can sing at funerals. Also, only three people can sing “if it is essential to an act of worship.”

Britain’s armed forces are preparing for Prince Philip’s funeral. Servicemen and women from the army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force will feature at the funeral, alongside senior military brass.

Reportedly, soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers are busy with preparations for the funeral. The engineers are preparing a special Land Rover that will carry his coffin at Saturday’s funeral. Prince Philip was apparently involved in the vehicle’s design.

In the meanwhile, Princess Anne has taken part in her first official event following the death of her father. The Princess Royal joined the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s spring conference, in her role as the organization’s patron, via video link.

Anne Sewell

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