On Friday 9th April, Her Majesty The Queen announced the death of her “beloved husband” The Duke of Edinburgh at the grand age of 99.
One of the first people to comment on how The Queen was feeling following the death of Prince Philip was The Countess of Wessex, who described Her Majesty as being “amazing” as she and Prince Edward left Windsor Castle on Saturday morning.
The Countess of Wessex is said to be one of four loyal, discreet and ‘utterly trustworthy’ women who are surrounding The Queen in her hour of need. Also a part of this core group of confidantes are Her Majesty’s daughter, The Princess Royal, lifetime friend, Lady Pamela Hicks, and The Queen’s dresser, Angela Kelly.
As The Queen faces the rest of her life and her reign without the support of The Duke of Edinburgh, these four women are offering Queen Elizabeth II the most crucial support.
A royal source spoke of The Countess of Wessex saying, “Sophie is like another daughter to The Queen, they are that close. She is trusted and relied on like few others.”
As a tearful Sophie drove past well-wishers outside Windsor Castle on Saturday, she told them that “The Queen has been amazing” when asked how Her Majesty was feeling.
Princess Anne was also among the first family members to visit The Queen at Windsor Castle. On Saturday evening, alongside her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, and son, Peter Phillips, Anne made the journey from Gatcombe Park to Windsor to visit her grieving mother.
Many have described The Princess Royal as being similar to The Duke of Edinburgh in her character with one biographer claiming, “She gets on with it – she never complains.”
Princess Anne describes her mother, The Queen, as “remarkable.”
Lady Pamela Hicks is the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and cousin of The Duke of Edinburgh. She has been friends with The Queen since they were both teenagers and was a bridesmaid at Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding in 1947 before going on to serve as a Lady-in-Waiting to Her Majesty.
Famously, Pamela was with the then Princess Elizabeth at Treetops Hotel in Kenya at the precise moment she became Queen Elizabeth II. As Pamela once remarked, “She climbed up that ladder as a Princess and then, in the morning, she came down the ladder as Queen.”
Angela Kelly has served as Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to The Queen since 2002. She is responsible for The Queen’s clothes, jewellery and insignia and in recent years has become a close confidante to Her Majesty.
Losing a loved one is difficult for anyone. For Her Majesty The Queen, having been married to Prince Philip for 73 years and having known him for nearly 87 years, the grief she is feeling must be unimaginable. The thought that she has four strong, supportive and trustworthy women in her closest circle must bring the smallest comfort to our ‘Widow Queen.’