The Queen appeared to follow her late husband Prince Philip's mantra 'Just get on with it' following his death, but "never fully recovered" from his loss, a royal expert has said.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday 8 September at the age of 96, over a year after her beloved husband Prince Philip passed away at the height of the coronavirus pandemic on 9 April 2021.
Heartbreaking scenes aired on TV saw how Her Majesty had no choice but to sit alone at his funeral due to restrictions, but she was quick to return to her public duties with several appearances since then – including her final engagement of appointing Prime Minister Liz Truss in Balmoral.
Now, royal commentator Duncan Larcombe has spoken out on how the Queen "never fully recovered" from the Duke of Edinburgh's death.
Speaking exclusively to OK! magazine, he explained how everyone was "amazed" by how quick she returned to her duties as the monarch.
He said: “I don’t think Her Majesty ever fully recovered from the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
"We were all amazed at how quickly she got back to work after his funeral, and touched that she appeared to be so determined to follow Philip’s famous mantra, ‘Just get on with it.’"
However, the expert couldn't help but wonder if "she pushed herself too hard," adding how she may have "underestimating the physical and emotional impact of bereavement and grief."
Duncan continued: "His death was clearly not unexpected. But, in the run-up to it, the Queen had been going through the same pandemic and lockdown frustrations as everybody else. She couldn’t spend time with her children and grandchildren, she was forced to work from home and couldn’t get out and meet the public.
“For a monarch who always said she ‘had to be seen to be believed’, that must have been unsettling. And then the man who had been at her side for all those years was gone and she had the added strain of that harrowing, socially-distanced funeral."
The Queen laid her husband of 70 years to rest on 17 April, where she sat alone in a space she often shared with him in an all-black outfit complete with a face mask. The expert shared how "vulnerable" the monarch appeared for the first time.
Duncan went on to tell OK!: “The images of the Queen, so small and alone, sitting in the quire stalls of St George’s Chapel were heartbreaking. Because that was the first time we really saw her as a vulnerable, 95-year-old woman, rather than the Head of State.
"And we wondered how on earth she was going to cope without her ‘strength and stay’.”
Those are the words the Queen used to describe her husband in a speech she made marking their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.
At the time, she said: “Prince Philip is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments.
"But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
The Queen died "peacefully" at her Scottish home of Balmoral with her son Charles, who is now King, and daughter Princess Anne by her side.
The entire nation is mourning the loss of the monarch, with thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to see the Union flag at half mast.
Today, gun salutes and Church bells will ring in honour of Her Majesty's life and 70-year reign on the throne. King Charles III is expected to address the nation tonight.
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