Queen Elizabeth II, 95, had to sit by herself during Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday that was organised in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions.
Queen Elizabeth II, 95, had to sit by herself during Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday that was organised in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions. While Britons are keenly aware of the measures being taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many may have felt a pang of empathy for the lonely-looking Queen as she bid farewell to her husband of 73 years.
Only 30 guests were allowed to attend the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and the majority of them were Royal Family members.
As the Queen marked her first birthday as a widow on Wednesday, one royal expert reflected on whether it was really necessary for her to sit alone and wear a face mask at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Writing in the Telegraph’s royal newsletter, associate editor Camilla Tominey argued that as the service was broadcast on TV, surely the royals could have followed the same rules that apply to TV presenters and journalists during the pandemic.
Ms Tominey wrote: “Reflecting on the 50-minute service at St George’s Chapel, three days on from witnessing first-hand the events in Windsor Castle, I would question whether it was strictly necessary for the great-grandmother to wear a face mask, not to mention be seated so far away from her nearest and dearest.”
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She added: “I’ve been inside the 15th-century chapel and it is actually much bigger than the cameras might suggest.
“Admittedly, I’m no virologist, but I cannot quite understand the scientific basis for making someone who has had both doses of their coronavirus vaccination cover their face and be spaced metres away from anyone else in a drafty and cavernous building.
“Not least when more than 30 worshippers are allowed to attend regular Sunday services.”
She said: “Moreover, as Phillip Schofield pointed out when we discussed the day’s poignant events on Monday’s This Morning if the Royal family were all on TV then why did they have to wear face masks at all?”
She added: “Even more ludicrously, while all this was going on, the more than 30-strong gaggle of journalists, myself included, who were covering the event from a nearby reporters’ facility within the castle grounds, were not wearing masks at all under the workplace exemption.”
The Queen’s 95th birthday passed by without huge fanfare.
while Buckingham Palace did not release a new photo of the Queen to mark the milestone they did share a personal message of thanks.
The Queen’s 95th birthday message read: “I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate.”
The Queen added: “While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.
“My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days.”
The Queen was spotted driving out in the grounds of Windsor Castle as she headed out for a dog walk on her birthday.
It is understood she marked the milestone with a private lunch for select family members.