How Queen Elizabeth Changed After Prince Philip's Death

When you know, you know. And for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, that phrase could not have been more true of their relationship. The two, who married in 1947, stuck to their vows for better or for worse and remained each other's one true love throughout their seven-decade marriage. And now, following Queen Elizabeth's funeral, the two are finally reunited once again.

Back in 1934, the two first crossed paths at a wedding for fellow royals. They were later officially introduced on a tour of Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939, per BBC. From there, the couple stayed in touch over the years by writing each other letters. Then, in 1946, Prince Philip finally asked King George VI for Princess Elizabeth's hand in marriage. And despite certain members of the royal family being upset by the fact that Philip was Elizabeth's suitor, the two were married a year later, per ABC News. 

From there, the two lived happily ever after, welcoming four children and multiple grandchildren into the world. And while, in the public eye, the two remained stoic in their royal duties, Queen Elizabeth never failed to mention that it was her husband who got her through each and every day. "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years," Elizabeth said in 1997, per ABC News. This is why, following Prince Philip's death in 2021, the queen admitted she never felt quite the same.

Queen Elizabeth wanted to be alone during Prince Philip's funeral

Prince Philip died in 2021, at the age of 99. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 precautions needing to be taken at the time of his death, the prince was honored with various memorials that kept health and safety at the forefront. And, on April 17, the prince was formally laid to rest at St. George's Chapel.

While the whole country mourned the loss of the prince, there was no doubt the queen grieved the hardest. One of the most poignant photos from the funeral featured a solemn Queen Elizabeth sitting alone while watching the funeral. The photo was striking as it showed a queen who was once used to being surrounded by royal family members, now wanting nothing more than be with her own grief. And to royal insiders, no one could find the words to describe the grief and the pain that Queen Elizabeth was going through — with the queen even struggling herself.

Following the funeral service, Angela Kelly, the queen's former stylist, revealed that all Queen Elizabeth wanted was to be by herself. "I helped her off with her coat and hat and no words were spoken," Kelly said, per Hello! "The queen then walked to her sitting room, closed the door behind her, and she was alone with her thoughts."

Queen Elizabeth felt a void following Prince Philip's death

Needing to be alone following Prince Philip's funeral only symbolized the emptiness that Queen Elizabeth felt following her husband's passing.

"The queen, as you would expect, is an incredibly stoic person," Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and the queen's son, said at the time, per USA Today. "She described [his death] as having left a huge void in her life but we, the family, the ones that are close, are rallying round to make sure that we're there to support her." And the void the queen felt without her husband took a toll on her, forcing her to find new sources of strength.

During the months following the funeral, the queen mourned privately and reportedly leaned on her family, her religious beliefs, and her work as a royal to keep her going. "I always felt that she was never knocked off course," a royal insider told People at the time. "It's her way to remain as steady as possible." While the queen sought strength from new areas of her life, she never forgot to honor the one who had been her first source of strength — Prince Philip.

Queen Elizabeth continued to honor Prince Philip after his passing

Despite losing her husband, best friend, and confidant, following Prince Philip's death, Queen Elizabeth doubled down on her work as the monarch, in honor of her late husband. 

In fact, despite her grieving, the queen continued her work because that's precisely what Prince Philip would have wanted her to do. "Her family will step up and be by her side, but she will carry on. She understands that she has a job to do," a royal insider revealed, according to People. "She will never abdicate because of duty and honor and public service is so deep in her, as it was for him," another added.

And now, as the world grieves the loss of the queen following her death on September 8, it is only a reminder that the queen is finally back with her husband once again. "For me, in the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work," Queen Elizabeth said in her annual 2021 Christmas speech. "But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings," the queen said poignantly at the time. Though we all hope the two have reunited once again.