Even mourning her late husband Prince Philip hasn’t stopped Queen Elizabeth from performing her royal duties.
On Tuesday, the monarch attended her first royal engagement since the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing last week, throwing a retirement party at Windsor Castle for her former Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel, who officially stepped down a week before Philip’s death, according to the Court Circular. As the daily record of public duties of the British monarchy noted, “The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain.”
The role of Lord Chamberlain is the most senior role in the royal household and oversees all other departments supporting the royal family, facilitates communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords, and coordinates engagements between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House. Prior to his retirement after fourteen years in the role, the Lord Chamberlain was overseeing Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements. Peel’s duties will now be taken over by former MI5 spy chief Baron Andrew Parker.
Prince Philip’s funeral will be held on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at 3 p.m. U.K. time and will be broadcast live. Per Philip’s wishes his body will be transported to the chapel in a Land Rover he helped modify, and his son Prince Charles will lead the procession behind it, joined by Prince Harry and Prince William. Other senior royals are also expected to join the procession, but sources confirmed to Vanity Fair that the Queen will not walk behind her husband’s coffin. A royal insider who spoke to People explained that the Queen “understands that she has a job to do, and [Philip] would have wanted her to crack on. She did do so when he retired from public life. She will never abdicate because of duty and honor and public service is so deep in her, as it was for him.”
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