The monarch, 94, was pictured this afternoon driving out of the gates of Windsor Castle, where she had stayed the night after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral yesterday.
She was seen wearing a floral scarf over her hair, and was reportedly with her beloved dogs, as she drove down the long driveway out of the castle and into the Windsor estate.
The Queen had spent much of her time at Windsor with Prince Philip since the start of the COVID pandemic, and had been supported by a small team of staff – nicknamed ‘HMS Bubble’.
Lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey will, according to royal sources, have a key role in supporting the Queen in the wake of her husband’s death, at the age of 99.
Yesterday the Queen, who had been married to the Duke for more than 70 years, was forced to sit alone at her husband’s funeral due to strict Covid rules banning the mixing of households.
At the end of the service the Queen, dressed in all black and wearing a face mask, was taken from the funeral to nearby Windsor Castle in a state Bentley.
The couple, who recently welcomed their first child, have been living at nearby Frogmore Cottage – where Prince Harry has been staying since his return to the UK.
The pair were among the 30 family and friends of the Duke of Edinburgh who attended the poignant service at St George’s Chapel yesterday.
In a heartbreaking moment, the Queen was seen sitting alone in the chapel before returning to nearby Windsor Castle in a state Bentley – with Covid rules banning her from mixing with the rest of her family.
The photograph of Kate and Charles was taken as the reduced group of 30 royals exited the chapel following yesterday’s emotional goodbye to Prince Philip at Windsor.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry returned to Frogmore Cottage after attending Prince Philip‘s funeral yesterday ahead of a walk with his father later today, reports claim.
The Duke of Sussex made the 10-hour flight to Britain for the funeral this week while his wife Meghan – who is around seven-months pregnant with their second child – remained in LA.
While plans for a wake have been scrapped, Prince Charles – who was clearly emotional before and during the service – intends to spend some time with his younger son, perhaps taking him for a walk today, sources claim.
Arrivals from the US must quarantine for 10 days upon landing – but can leave after five days if they provide a negative test under the Government’s Test to Release scheme.
Harry was allowed to attend the funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor yesterday in line with Government rules that make exceptions for such occasions.
He arrived in England last Saturday, which means – should he have tested negative – the duke no longer needs to isolate in Windsor.
He is understood to be based in Frogmore Cottage for the rest of his stay. He and Meghan lived in the house on the Windsor estate during their time as senior royals.
It is there that he is set to meet Prince Charles, just weeks after the Sussexes plunged the monarchy into crisis when they accused the royals of racism and the institution of failing to support Meghan when she was suicidal in their Oprah Winfrey interview.
Following the bombshell tell-all – which included Harry’s claim that he needed to ‘educate’ his relatives – Prince Charles was said to be ‘deeply hurt’ but resolved to ‘mend the broken relationship’ with his son.
“There has been talk that Charles will walk around Windsor with Harry to look at some of the tributes and spend some time together,” the source said.
However, Harry is understood to be anxious to return to America to be with Meghan, who is thought to be seven months pregnant with their second child.
He could fly back to Los Angeles as early as tomorrow.
But The Telegraph reported: “The Duke of Sussex is thought to have stayed at Frogmore cottage.”
The couple moved out of the Windsor home after standing down from their positions in the Royal Family in January last year and moved first to Canada and then LA.
And even though the couple’s departure sparked fears that Harry and his brother Prince William were not getting along, the pair were seen chatting during Prince Philip’s funeral procession yesterday.
The estranged brothers looked deep in conversation as they appeared together in public for the first time in more than a year.
The princes talked while walking out of St George’s Chapel following the service this afternoon, having earlier taken part in the procession either side of their cousin Peter Phillips behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin.
Harry was initially seen speaking to his sister-in-law Kate Middleton as they left the chapel and began walking, but then she appeared to hang back so he could talk to William for a few moments without her.
The brothers’ discussion came following an impromptu decision by some of the Royal Family to walk back to the castle, despite state cars having been put on for them – and it gave the cameras a chance to see them talk.
About an hour earlier, the Duke of Cambridge entered the chapel one place ahead of his younger brother – and the brothers were seated opposite one another during the service, with William next to his wife Kate.
William and Harry had looked sombre as they walked in silence behind the specially-adapted Land Rover carrying their grandfather’s coffin as it made its way to the chapel and looked straight ahead as they both wore black suits.
It had been quietly hoped that the loss of their beloved grandfather, who both men loved deeply, might start the process of rapprochement – but the brothers are not thought to have seen each other before the funeral.
William, 38, and Harry, 36, were among nine members of the Royal Family who walked behind their grandfather’s unique coffin this afternoon, leaving the Sovereign’s entrance at Windsor Castle at precisely 2.45pm.
Yesterday marks the first time Harry and William have been seen together since March 2020, when they attended a Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey with other royals and could barely look each other in the eye.
Speaking about the brothers’ conversation yesterday, body language expert Judi James told Mail Online: ‘The moment of connection between William and Harry came right at the end of the service as they left the chapel.
“After a few seconds of what looked like natural and not self-conscious conversation, Kate fell back, leaving the two brothers walking off talking alone. It looked like a genuine moment of unity rather than something contrived for the cameras.”
Royal aides have been ‘walking on eggshells’ as they try to navigate the rift between the brothers, sources said last night as tensions remain following Harry and Meghan’s acrimonious split from the Royal Family last year.
It comes after Meghan Markle left a handwritten card on a wreath for the Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel.
The Duchess of Sussex – who is around seven-months pregnant with Prince Harry’s second child – was advised not to make the 10-hour flight to Britain for the funeral by her physician.
Instead, she watched the ceremony – which began at 7am Pacific time – on television from her and Harry’s £11million mansion in California while the Duke of Sussex attended.
A wreath from the couple was earlier left in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, to mark their respects, sources told PA news agency.
Meghan and Harry personally chose the locally-sourced flowers for their tribute – including Acanthus mollis (Bear’s breeches), the national flower of Greece, to represent Philip’s heritage, and Eryngium (sea holly), to represent the Royal Marines.
The wreath also features campanula for gratitude and everlasting love, rosemary to signify remembrance, lavender for devotion, and roses in honour of June being Philip’s birth month.
It was designed and handmade by Willow Crossley who arranged the flowers for Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding celebrations in Frogmore Gardens and for the Sussexes’ son Archie’s christening.
Alongside the wreath is a note from Meghan, who is known for her skill at calligraphy.
The Queen yesterday wiped her eyes as she accompanied Prince Philip’s coffin on its final journey from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel.A wreath from the couple was earlier left in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, to mark their respects, sources told PA news agency. Pictured: Series of wreaths left next to Prince Philip’s coffin in St George’s Chapel
King ran through the order of the day and the order in which the royals will appear.
She said: “Then we’ll see Prince William and Prince Harry…William and Harry, there’s no secret about this, have had a strained relationship you could say since Harry stepped away from his royal duties.”
She then, during a talk-back- former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown, said there was “family drama” that the world was speculating over.
“Are we reading too much into the body language? They didn’t stand shoulder to shoulder when their mother was buried. This was by the Queen’s design,” she said.