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Queen could ‘step back’ from duties following Philip’s funeral – royal historian

Ted Hennessey
·2-min read

The Queen could take a “step back” from her duties following the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, a royal historian has said.

Sarah Richardson, professor of modern British history at the University of Warwick, said that Philip’s passing could be a “turning point” in the future of the monarchy.

Ms Richardson also said the “poignant” service in Windsor on Saturday would have been an “ordeal” for the Queen.

Duke of Edinburgh funeral
The Queen sat on her own at the funeral (Yui Mok/PA)

Speaking about the Queen sitting on her own at her husband’s funeral, she told the PA news agency: “She has a really strong sense of service and duty and protocol and she’s attended many funerals in the past and she strongly follows the rituals and so on.

Watch: Mourning Queen to mark birthday without Philip for first time during reign

“In some ways it would have been comforting for her that the Duke of Edinburgh played such a strong role in planning and organising the service but it must have been an ordeal at the very least.”

Ms Richardson went on to say: “The other thing I think it represented to me was that this is a turning point in the future of the monarchy.

“To some extent this is the end of a period, the Queen will carry on and she will carry on doing her duty, she’s already gone back to work to some extent.

“I think she will step back more and more, she’s in her mid-90s, and seeing her there solely on her own, when she’s been accompanied by Philip for 70-odd years, I think it represents a turning point.”

The royal expert also said that the conversation at the end of the service between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would have been a “conscious decision” by the trio.

Duke of Edinburgh funeral
William and Harry were seen talking after the service had ended (Alastair Grant/PA)

She added: “The whole family apart from the Queen walked back to the castle from the chapel and the fact that Harry walked with William and Kate I think was perhaps a symbol that there is at least a willingness to talk and perhaps have some rapprochement between the two princes.”

Ms Richardson said the Queen would want a “reuniting” but that William and Harry will need to have “discussions” going forward.

Watch: Queen Elizabeth faces new life after funeral for Prince Philip