UK's Queen Elizabeth spent time alone after Philip’s funeral, book reveals

Member of queen's staff reveals monarch retreated to her sitting room and closed the door after duke's funeral

Britain's Queen Elizabeth alone during the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, at St George's Chapel in Windsor on April 17. Reuters
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Queen Elizabeth II shut herself in her sitting room and spent time alone after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, her personal adviser said.

Angela Kelly has updated her book about serving the queen and included a new chapter that covers the pandemic and Philip’s funeral.

The service took place under strict Covid restrictions that prevented the queen from sitting with family members.

Ms Kelly, the queen’s senior dresser and personal adviser, described her return to Windsor Castle from St George’s Chapel last April.

“I helped her off with her coat and hat and no words were spoken,” she wrote, according to Hello magazine, which is publishing the new chapter this week.

“The queen then walked to her sitting room, closed the door behind her, and she was alone with her own thoughts.”

Ms Kelly was part of “HMS Bubble”, the nickname believed to have been given to the reduced household of dedicated staff who isolated themselves with Elizabeth during lockdown.

In her revised book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, first published in 2019, she also described the “sombre” mood among the team when they were told of Philip’s death.

Also on Monday, Prince Harry said it was “great” to see the queen, who gave him messages for British Invictus Games athletes when he visited her last week.

Harry and Meghan visited the queen and his father, the Prince of Wales, in Windsor on Thursday, having flown in from their home in the US before travelling on to The Hague in The Netherlands for the games.

It is the first time the couple had been seen together publicly on that side of the Atlantic for two years.

“She had plenty of messages for Team UK, which I’ve already passed on to most of them so it was great to see her," Harry told the BBC. "I’m sure she’d love to be here if she could.”

The surprise meeting has been regarded as an “olive branch” by royal commentators after a turbulent two years following the couple’s decision to step down as senior royals in 2020.

They were absent from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in London last month.

Updated: April 19, 2022, 1:11 AM