It’s her big comeback in front of her subjects: After canceling several engagements in recent months due to health issues, Queen Elizabeth II attended a religious ceremony on Tuesday in honor of her late husband, Prince Philip.
The 95-year-old monarch, in a dark green coat, arrived at Westminster Abbey on the arm of his son Andrew, whose first public appearance this is also after the amicable agreement reached with the American Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexual assault.
This time she wanted to be present at this ceremony, which is held almost a year after the death of the man who was her husband and her “rock” for 73 years, who died at the age of 99. The funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh had been organized into a small committee due to restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
It is a rare occurrence for Elizabeth II, who has eased her agenda considerably since a night of hospitalization in October for examinations whose nature has never been revealed. She has been retiring since the beginning of the pandemic to Windsor Castle, about forty miles from London.
By mid-March, the dean of the British royal family had again at the last minute canceled his attendance at a service held as part of the annual Commonwealth Day.
The sovereign, who recently passed the milestone of 70 years of reign, recently admitted that he had difficulty moving around and was seen leaning against a cane, as was the case on Tuesday. According to press reports, she is using a wheelchair privately and a golf cart in Windsor Gardens, while a stair lift has been installed in her Scottish residence in Balmoral.
The queen had also been infected with Covid-19 in February and showed mild symptoms.
Collection of crowned heads
The ceremony for Philip pays tribute to the one who supported Elizabeth II for more than seven decades. Her death in April 2021, shortly before her 100th birthday, took place against the backdrop of strict anti-Covid restrictions, symbolized by the image of the Queen sitting alone in the Windsor Chapel.
Elizabeth had met Philip, who was 18 when she was 13. They got married in November 1947. Last winter, during her traditional Christmas speech, she confided how much her “vicious” appearance and her laughter were missing.
To pay tribute to him, members of the British royal family and many foreign crowned heads gathered, including the King of Belgium, the King of Spain and the King of Sweden, as well as political leaders such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Harry and Meghan conspicuously absent
Among those absent is Prince Harry, who along with his wife Meghan in 2020 announced giving up his leading role in the British royal family. The couple and their two children now live in California. Present were the four children of Elizabeth II and Philip, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Andrew, long described as Elizabeth II’s favorite son, maintains a low profile after being accused by American Virginia Giuffre of sexually assaulting her in 2001. Threatened with a lawsuit in the United States, the 61-year-old prince has finally reached a confidential agreement with his prosecutor In february.
Her arrival with the Queen on Tuesday was immediately commented on by the press as a sign of the sovereign’s support for her son. As Elizabeth II gradually passes the baton, her family remains turbulent, as does Prince William, successor to the throne, and his wife Kate recently moved to the Caribbean.
This trip was marked by hostile protests in Belize and criticism of the family’s historical ties to slavery.
Popularity at its highest
Despite the scandals that regularly shake her family, Elizabeth II remains at the peak of her popularity. Four days of festivities are planned for June in the UK to celebrate his 70th reign, his “platinum anniversary”.