Prince Philip and the Queen were married for73 years and he had been by her side from the beginning of her reign in 1952, making him the longest-serving consort in British history. He died at the age of 99 on 9 April.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, just 30 mourners were able to attend the funeral service in a scaled-back affair that included the prince’s close family and friends. It was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Queen Elizabeth II was supported by her lady-in-waiting Lady Susan, on the day, who rode with her Majesty en route to the funeral. But the Queen sat alone during the service as social distancing between households is mandatory under government guidance.
A sombre image of the Queen sitting alone in the chapel has touched many people online, who have expressed their sorrow and sympathy for the monarch.
One person wrote: “The Queen. Alone in the church. So very vulnerable. Yet very public display of solidarity with so many who have had to deal with loss in past year. Seems so unfair that any 94 year old has to endure such loss so alone. Although perhaps she would have had it that way anyway.”
Another said: “Respect....a powerful photo: a Queen alone and in grief.”
One person wrote: “Such a solemn and poignant photo.HRH The Queen alone for the first time in over 70 years with out her beloved Philip by her side! God Bless Our Queen.”
One Twitter user wrote: “Seeing our Queen alone at her husbands funeral was heartbreaking. A beautiful elegant service. RIP Your Royal Highness.”
The image has been shared widely and has been hailed as one that “will be remembered forever”. It has also been said that while she was sat alone, she had “the love of a nation around her”.
Another Twitter user wrote: “Images today of the Queen alone will be remembered forever. No one should be sitting on their own at the funeral of a loved one. I am deeply sorry if anyone has had to experience that.”
On the eve of the funeral, Buckingham Palace shared a previously unseen photograph of the Queen and Prince Philip together in Aberdeenshire relaxing together away from public duties.