Queen's 'Strong' and Silent Reaction on Day of Prince Philip's Funeral

Queen Elizabeth II retired to her rooms alone in silence following Prince Philip's funeral in April of last year, one of her closest aides has revealed in a new book.

Angela Kelly, who holds the title of Her Majesty's Personal Advisor and Curator (The Queen's Jewelry, Insignias and Wardrobe), has worked for the monarch for over 28 years and has been granted permission to publish her account of life at Windsor Castle during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Kelly holds a privileged position within the royal household working more closely with the queen than any other member of staff. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged, Kelly moved into Windsor Castle for two years in a network of staff nicknamed "H.M.S. Bubble."

Kelly reveals what day-to-day life was like inside the bubble with the most famous woman in the world in an extract of the upcoming revised edition of her book, The Other Side of The Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, published by HELLO!. A milestone event during this period was the time surrounding the death of the queen's husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.

"On 9 April 2021, the day His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh passed away, the feeling among all the staff in the bubble at Windsor Castle was somber," she wrote before describing the funeral held at the castle on April 17 and the good wishes sent by people around the world.

"I think some of the prayers that were offered were by those who had never prayed before," Kelly continued. "I think those prayers were offered to keep the queen strong throughout the months to come, when she would be without her husband."

In an intimate revelation, Kelly also describes the monarch's immediate movements following the solemn funeral service which had limited mourners to 30 in accordance with U.K. public safety guidelines at the time. This left the queen seated alone in the chapel as the rest of the guests sat with their own households.

"Once the funeral procession had departed for St George's Chapel, everyone returned to their duties," Kelly wrote of the Windsor bubble staff who had gathered to watch the procession from the castle quadrangle. "I went to the dressing room and waited for the queen to come back after the funeral service."

"I helped her off with her coat and hat and no words were spoken. The queen then walked to her sitting room, closed the door, and she was alone with her own thoughts."

Queen Elizabeth II Prince Philip Funeral Kelly
One of the queen's closest aides, Angela Kelly, has revealed how the monarch reacted to the funeral of Prince Philip in a revised edition of her latest book. The queen (L) photographed at Prince Philip's funeral, April 17, 2021. Kelly (R) photographed at Buckingham Palace, November 16, 2012. Yui Mok/WPA Pool/Getty Images/John Stillwell/WPA Pool /Getty Images

Also revealed in the new chapter of the revised book is how staff in the Windsor Castle bubble communicated with the outside world by leaving post, parcels and sweet treats in a holding area known as "the hub" for sanitation, as well as how the queen's pipe major, who plays the bagpipes outside her apartments each morning, would take orders from staff members and make regular supermarket trips.

Kelly took even stricter precautions than the rest of the bubble because she worked so closely with the queen. "At a time when freedom had been taken away from us all, I felt it was even more important to isolate myself further," she wrote. "I would never have forgiven myself if I had passed Covid on to the queen."

The queen tested positive for Covid-19 in February 2022 and has since recovered but noted recently that "it leaves one very tired and exhausted."

The monarch's recent cancellations of appearances at public events such as the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey and the Easter Sunday service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, has called into question whether she will be able to undertake the laborious schedule of events planned for the platinum jubilee this summer.

Kelly, in her book, writes positively looking ahead. "With the platinum jubilee approaching," she notes, "all hands are needed to prepare for events such as the pageant and Royal Ascot."

As one of the principle designers for the queen for over a decade, Kelly writes that she is "in the process of designing new outfits and hats so that the queen can mark such an important milestone in style."

The queen's central platinum jubilee events begin on Thursday, June 2, with a special Trooping of the Colour birthday parade and a balcony appearance from the royal family at Buckingham Palace to follow.

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