Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have made regular visits to see the Queen after Prince Philip’s death, with Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex also supporting Her Majesty, it has emerged.
The Queen was left sitting on her own during the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral yesterday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in tear-jerking images that shocked the nation.
However, the royals have rushed to her side following Philip’s death, led by Andrew and his ex-wife with sources saying that Edward and Sophie have also spent ‘a lot of time’ supporting her.
As the Queen returns to life without her husband of 73 years she will also be staying at Windsor Castle with a ‘bubble’ of 22 Royal household staff, including some of her closest aides.
They include page Paul Whybrew, known as ‘Tall Paul, who sits and watches TV with the Queen having starred alongside her in the James Bond sketch at the London 2012 Olympics.
Dresser Angela Kelly, who has been with the monarch since 1993 and has been described as her ‘rock’, will also stay close.
The other close aides include Ian Carmichael, her Glaswegian hair dresser who visited her on Friday and her Ladies-in-waiting Susan Hussey, who travelled in the car to the funeral with the Queen yesterday, and the longest serving lady Mary Morrison, known as Mossy.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II bows her head as she sits in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years
The emotional Queen wipes away a tear in the back of the royal Bentley as she saw the procession carrying Prince Philip’s coffin
The Queen’s Bentley followed the coffin from the castle to the church, behind the Land Rover and her family. The procession included Prince Andrew and Prince Edward who have been regularly visiting the Queen since Philip’s death
Her Majesty is only allowed to sit close to her close group of staff, dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’ by the master of the household Vice-Admiral Sir Tony John-stone-Burt last year.
Sir Tony wrote in an email sent to staff last year: ‘There are 22 Royal Household staff inside the Bubble, and it struck me that our predicament is not dissimilar to my former life in the Royal Navy on a long overseas deployment.
‘Indeed, the challenges that we are facing, whether self-isolating alone at home, or with our close household and families, have parallels with being at sea, away from home for many months, and having to deal with a sense of dislocation, anxiety and uncertainty.
‘Regardless of the roles we perform, we do them to an exceptional standard to allow the Queen and other members to do their duty to the best of their ability, too.’
The Queen and Prince Philip were said to have enjoyed the joke, especially since the Duke’s nickname was ‘Big Bubble’.
Her Majesty has reportedly already restarted her duties as she has telephoned Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But her governmental work will be carried out by another member of HMS bubble, Sir Edward Young – her private secretary.
Another member of HMS bubble is Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, the Duke of Edinburgh’s private secretary.
There is a long history of monarchs growing close to their aides, such as Queen Victoria who grew close to her Scottish attendant, John Brown, and her Indian attendant, the Munshi.
The Queen wiped away tears and was forced to mourn alone away from her family in St George’s Chapel during Prince Philip’s Covid-hit Windsor Castle funeral yesterday as she said an emotional final goodbye to her ‘strength and stay’ after their extraordinary 73-year life together.
Her Majesty looked grief-stricken and bowed her head in reverence as she accompanied her beloved husband’s coffin on its final journey while their eldest son Prince Charles cried as he walked behind the casket into church followed by other devastated royals.
Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson have been regularly visiting the Queen following Prince Philip’s death
Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex have also visited the Queen and spent a lot of time with her since Philip died at 99
Paul Whybrew (Queen Elizabeth II’s page) leaves the Goring Hotel after attending a Christmas Lunch hosted by Queen Elizabeth II for her close members of staff
Personal Assistant, Adviser and Curator to Her Majesty The Queen Angela Kelly at Windsor Castle. She will be staying close to Her Majesty
The Queen stands alone as she watches Prince Philip’s coffin being carried by soldiers on its final journey into St George’s Chapel, Windsor today for the funeral of her beloved husband
The Queen left a personal, hand-written message to Prince Philip at his funeral service today. but the content of the note is not known
Her Majesty, with tears in her eyes, looks on after she had a moment of quiet reflection by her husband’s coffin
The monarch had arrived at the service in the royal Bentley with her lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, 81, widow of former BBC chairman Marmaduke Hussey.
Such is her bond with the royal family that Lady Susan is one of the Duke of Cambridge’s godparents, and also attended his confirmation in 1997.
During the past year she joined the Queen and Philip in HMS Bubble as one of about 20 staff who cared for the royal couple in lockdown at Windsor Castle.
Ladies-in-waiting are the unsung members of the Queen’s household and are personally chosen by the monarch.
They have a variety of duties including attending to private and personal matters for the Queen and handling her correspondence.
They also assist the Queen on official engagements, from handing her money to being passed the bouquets of flowers presented to her.
The Royal Family stand at the bottom of the steps of St George’s Chapel as the coffin is carried up into the church
The couple, pictured together on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in November 2007
In 2001, Lady Susan passed the Queen a pound coin so she could buy The Big Issue from a magazine seller while on an official day trip to Brighton.
She has also been present at unique moments in history – such as on the Spirit of Chartwell barge with the Queen and other members of the royal family for the Diamond Jubilee river pageant on the Thames in 2012.
Ladies-in-waiting often serve the Queen for more than 50 years and act as both friends and loyal assistants, and their discretion and support will be invaluable as the Queen mourns.
The late Marmaduke Hussey, who died in 2006, was BBC chairman when Diana, Princess of Wales gave her 1995 Panorama interview but, in accordance with tradition, he was not given a preview.
“Duke” Hussey was a leading newspaper industry executive for decades, taking the prestigious BBC post when he retired from News International.
Lady Susan is also a sister of the former Tory Cabinet minister William Waldegrave.