Queen ‘put nation first’ in ‘difficult period’ as she coped with Philip’s death

The Queen has put the nation first as she coped with a “difficult period” in her first year without her life-long companion Prince Philip.

Her Majesty has gone through difficulties surrounding her health following a scare last October, as well as Prince Andrew’s settlement over a sexual assault case and tensions with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The Duke of Edinburgh would always be the one the Queen would turn to in difficult times for advice but he sadly passed away in April last year.

This has meant the Queen has had to tackle a number of issues without her most trusted companion as she battled back from Covid and sources suggesting she has mobility issues.

Royal Expert Richard Fitzwilliams believes the Queen has come through the first year to “inspire the nation”.

“There is no doubt at all that the Duke of Edinburgh had strength and say, and was always there with sound advice and this was advice she could rely on,” said Mr Fitzwilliams.

“Undoubtedly, he will have been very much missed because it has been a difficult period for the Royal Family and then obviously, to come to terms with the loss of someone.

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“The Queen and the Duke are one of the great royal partnerships of all time. 73 years of marriage and no question that his advice and his companionship will have been sorely missed.”

Philip was famously described by the Queen as her “constant strength and guide” before he passed away on April 9 at Windsor Castle, just a few months before his 100th birthday.

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The Duke himself was a history breaker alongside the Queen as he became the longest-serving consort in British history as Her Majesty celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year.

The Royal Family will come together today to celebrate Philip's life as they look to pay tribute almost a year after his death.

At Philip’s funeral last year, the Queen was forced to sit alone while wearing a facemask due to strict coronavirus guidelines at the time.

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Mr Fitzwilliams said: “I think the Duke would have approved of his funeral given the circumstances, which was extremely difficult. Of course with the fact that it was carried out under strict coronavirus restrictions. I\u0009 I think the nation’s heart went out to the Queen.”

He added: “She’s (the Queen) always put duty first and there's no doubt that in the period that we're discussing there have been challenges, but also in her own health since last October, but she has managed, virtually, to inspire the country twice last year and also with her Christmas broadcast, which showed I thought a remarkable empathy with those who'd gone through difficult times.

“I think that her religious faith will have sustained her. I think that she's appeared virtually obviously but with the coming of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which are absolutely unique in our history, we are clearly hoping that she'll be able to play a full part of them.”

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