Today is exactly one year since Prince Philip, the Queen’s beloved husband of more than 70 years, died aged 99 – and the monarch has had a lot to contend with since his sad passing
Throughout much of her life, the Queen always had one person by her side supporting her every step of the way – her beloved husband Prince Philip.
Whether it was assisting with her royal duties or helping with more personal family matters, her beloved Philip was always there for her.
And in a touching speech in 1997 to mark their Golden Wedding anniversary, the monarch movingly referred to Philip as her “strength and stay”.
However, exactly one year ago today, just after noon, Her Majesty announced the incredibly sad news that her husband had died peacefully in his sleep at his Windsor Castle home, just a few months short of his 100th birthday.
Ever since that day, the Queen has had to navigate royal life without him by her side – and it’s certainly been a tested 12 months for Her Majesty…
In the days after Philip’s death, the royals rallied around the Queen as she prepared for Philip’s funeral.
The service at Windsor Castle was majorly scaled back due to Covid restrictions at the time, meaning only 30 guests were allowed to attend.
Among them were his eight grandchildren, including Prince Harry, who flew in from California to attend.
In the days after the funeral, the Queen turned 95 before ending her official mourning period and returning to royal duties.
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However, there was happy news for Her Majesty at the start of June when her 11th great-grandchild was born.
On June 4, Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed a daughter – and her name Lilibet was a direct tribute to the Queen.
Meanwhile, in September, there was more happy news when Princess Beatrice also gave birth to a daughter called Sienna – a 12th great-grandchild for the Queen.
prince andrew saga
But despite this happy news, the Queen has also had to contend with some unwelcome headlines for her second son Prince Andrew – without the support of Philip.
Last summer, Virginia Giuffre began the process of suing Andrew in a civil case in New York for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
The prince has always denied the allegations and said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her.
As the case began to move towards a trial, the Queen decided to strip her second son of his prestigious honorary military titles and royal patronages.
A source close to Andrew described the move at the time as leaving him “shell-shocked”.
However in the following weeks, Andrew reached an out of court settlement, said to be worth £12million, with his accuser Ms Giuffre, which means he will no longer face a civil jury trial over allegations.
It was thought that Andrew would then step away from public life for good – apart from attending a memorial service to Philip last month.
However, that too proved controversial as the Queen entered Westminster Abbey, where the service took place on the arm of her son.
And this left him Prince Charles and Prince William “dismayed” at Andrew’s “unnecessary” role.
Prince Harry security row
Another row that the Queen has had to contend with in the last year is her grandson Prince Harry’s demands over security when he is in the UK.
In January, Harry released a statement saying he is unable to bring wife Meghan Markle and their two children Archie and Lilibet to the UK due to a lack of security.
He is said to be keen to bring Archie and Lilibet to visit his homeland but claims he is unable to do so as Harry and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection when they stood down as working royals.
Megan and Archie have not returned to the UK since the couple walked away from royal life in 2019, while Lilibet has yet to set foot in the country where her dad was born – meaning she has never met the Queen.
Archie has also not seen his great-grandmother for over two years.
Lawyers acting for the Duke of Sussex say they will seek a judicial review if continued security, which he has offered to pay for, is not provided when he and his family visit.
A source said at the time that the battle between the Queen’s grandson and the government was “the last thing she wants to get drawn into”.
Health worries and Covid battle
Although the Queen herself threw back into work following Philip’s death and attended the G7 summit in Cornwall in June, her public appearances have been scaled back.
And this could be down to the fact she has had health worries of her own.
In October, he was pictured using a walking stick while attending a service for the Royal British Legion at Westminster Abbey.
And later that month, it emerged that she had spent the night in hospital following admission for precautionary tests after canceling a trip to Northern Ireland.
The Queen was then ordered to rest and other engagements were canceled including an appearance at the Cop26 climate change summit and Remembrance Sunday.
Many recent engagements have been carried out in Windsor Castle, where in one in-person audience with military officials, she talked about how she was having trouble moving.
The monarch also canceled a planned appearance at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey last month – but was able to make a memorial service for Philip there last week.
Meanwhile, to add to her health woes, it was announced in February that the Queen tested positive for Covid.
It forced her to cancel several engagements as she battled mild flu-like symptoms – but she now seems to be over the virus.
But despite having to navigate the past 12 months without Philip, the Queen has seemingly kept him close to her heart.
In her Christmas Day broadcast last year, she poignantly reflected on a year of personal grief, saying there was “one familiar laugh missing” as she acknowledged the death of her husband.
She gave a personal tribute to her “beloved Philip” and remarked how his “mischievous, inquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him”.
The Queen is believed to be at Windsor Castle and it is understood that she will mark the first anniversary of the death of her husband privately.