Back to work. The Queen’s first royal engagement following Prince Philip’s death took place on Tuesday, April 13—just four days after he passed away at Windsor Castle.
The 94-year-old monarch broke her period of mourning to host a retirement ceremony for the royal household’s seniormost official, the former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel. The Earl Peel stepped down from his role in the palace following his final duties, which included overseeing arrangements for Prince Philip’s funeral. The Queen honored the senior official for his years of service at Windsor Castle, as detailed in the royal family’s official Court Circular records.
“The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain,” an announcement read, per the royal family’s official website.
The Queen’s engagement came halfway through her eight-day mourning period for her husband, during which all legal and state affairs needing her attention have been put on hold. In the instance of the Earl Peel’s ceremony, a senior official for the royal family acknowledged that members of the royal family “will continue undertaking engagements appropriate to the circumstances.” This echoes a sentiment shared by a former royal staffer, who spoke to People on April 13. “Her family will step up and be by her side, but she will carry on,” the royal source told the site. “She understands that she has a job to do, and [Philip] would have wanted her to crack on. She did do so when he retired from public life.”
Aside from her Lord Chamberlain’s retirement ceremony, the Queen’s only other expected engagement amid her period of mourning is Prince Philip’s funeral itself. The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral is expected to take place on Saturday, April 17, at Windsor Castle. The prince consort, who passed away at the age of 99, wished for a “no fuss” funeral, and as such, Buckingham Palace has revealed that he will not be given a state funeral. Instead, the ceremony will be small and private, with guests including members of the royal family like Prince Harry and Prince William.