This Picture Of The Queen At Prince Philip's Funeral Has Twitter In Tears

On April 17, 2021, Queen Elizabeth attended the funeral for her husband Prince Philip, who died on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99. The queen bid farewell to Philip after 73 years of marriage. The couple shared four children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. The queen was driven to St. George's Chapel on the grounds of her residence at Windsor Castle, in a black car, dressed in all black, with a black mask covering much of her face. She walked into the chapel alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and took a seat in a pew near the altar. 

After the service, Philip's casket was lowered in to the royal vault, which is located below the chapel, according to The Sun. The queen was escorted out of the chapel by Welby, where she got back into a black car that took her home. However, there is one photo in particular that was taken of the queen inside the chapel that has social media in tears. Keep scrolling to see the photo.

Queen Elizabeth sat alone at Prince Philip's funeral

Queen Elizabeth sat alone in the chapel during Prince Philip's funeral. She was photographed sitting at the end of a pew, dressed in black, with her black hat and face mask. The queen sat alone without anyone around her due to precautions taken because of the coronavirus pandemic. The rest of her immediate family, including her son Prince Charles, was seated in the pews directly across from her. According to Town & Country, the plan was to have the queen sit by herself to help ensure her safety when it comes to her health. If the pandemic didn't exist, the queen would have been surrounded by her loved ones, and the pews would have been filled with family members on both sides of the center aisle. Instead, coronavirus guidelines were adhered to, and different households sat spaced out, at least six feet apart.

Town & Country points out that the queen was not alone when she was driven to and from the chapel. Aside from the driver of the State Bentley, the queen was accompanied by a lady-in-waiting. Queen Elizabeth is expected to enter into a lengthy period of mourning following the death of her husband, according to People. While she may keep up with a handful of royal duties, she is expected to take an extended break.

Queen Elizabeth II's viral photo is a sharp contrast to her past experiences

The viral photo of Queen Elizabeth II sitting alone, without family, at her husband Prince Philip's funeral on April 17, 2021, due to safety measures against the ongoing coronavirus is a sharp contrast to one of the last royal funerals heavily covered by the media. On April 8, 2002, Elizabeth's mother, with whom she shared a name (and who, after her daughter assumed the throne in 1953, was known as Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) embarked on her final journey through the streets of London following her death eight days prior. Per the custom of her state funeral, Elizabeth was surrounded by a coterie every step of the way, from the doors of Buckingham Palace to the doors of Westminster Abbey, where the funeral service took place, according to the BBC's coverage at the time. 

As the news network also noted, Elizabeth seemed to adhere to the British stiff upper lip throughout her mother's more public-facing facet of her funeral, which featured the Archbishop of Canterbury delivering he eulogy. However, Prince Charles, the grandson of the Queen Mother, was described as appearing to be "on the brink of tears," while Elizabeth nearby "listened intently with her head bowed," per another report by the BBC. Despite her contained demeanor during the ceremony at Westminster, it is unclear whether she retained the same level of composure later on at the private funeral held at St. George's Chapel. 

Queen Elizabeth II stood with her grandchildren and son at Princess Diana's funeral

While Queen Elizabeth II was surrounded by family during the April 2002 of the Queen Mother, it provoked far less controversy than another royal funeral that had occurred roughly five years prior. As many might recall, the 1997 death of Princess Diana — who had only been officially divorced from her ex-husband Prince Charles of Wales for roughly a year before she was killed in a car accident alongside her then-boyfriend, Egyptian heir Dodi Fayed — was compounded with prior reports of purportedly being at odds with the monolith of the British royal family (via Town & Country).

As the Irish Times and other publications noted at the time, reports from Buckingham Palace that Elizabeth had wanted to give Diana a private funeral as opposed to a ceremonial one — meaning that members of the public would've been barred from paying their respects and saying their goodbyes to the popular "People's Princess" — caused controversy, casting a negative light on the royal family due to these allegations. Per the Irish Times, rumors at the time also included that Earl Spencer, Diana's brother, had argued with the Windsors over similar details. To wit, the royal family categorically denied these claims, and as such, Elizabeth II attended the internationally televised funeral, along with the rest of her family.