The Queen has stepped out for her first in-person engagement since the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip.
The monarch returned to London from Windsor to attend the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday – and there was one heartbreaking detail many would have missed.
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For the first time, the Consort's Throne had been removed from the House of Lords. The Queen instead sat alone on the Sovereign's Throne, while Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, who accompanied her, were given Chairs of State.
READ: Prince Philip's very sweet tradition on the Queen's birthday revealed
It is the fourth time that Prince Charles has been at his mother's side for the state opening – he also attended in December 2019, October 2019 and in June 2017. The heir-to-the-throne first stepped in for his father Philip in 2017 after the Duke fell ill with an infection, two months before he retired from public duties. There was no State Opening in 2020.
Prince Philip formerly sat on the Consort's Throne in the House of Lords
Prince Philip was 99 when he passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on the morning of 9 April, two months before his 100th birthday. The royal couple had an incredible marriage that spanned 73 years. On the occasion of the golden wedding anniversary in November 1997, the monarch famously said of her husband: "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years."
MORE: Prince Philip's incredible wedding gift to the Queen revealed
The Queen and Philip were married for 73 years
Just 12 days after Prince Philip's death, the Queen marked her 95th birthday, and while she spent the day privately at Windsor Castle, she did release a statement thanking the public for the well wishes.
READ: The Queen breaks with royal tradition following death of beloved Prince Philip
"I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate,” she said.
The monarch famously described Philip as her "strength and stay"
"While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.
"My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life." She signed it 'Elizabeth R'.
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