The Queen’s hidden message to Meghan


If ever there was an image of the loneliness of widowhood, it was the picture of the Queen sitting on her own, at her husband's funeral.

Because of social-distancing rules still in place in the UK, the Queen was required to sit apart from her family at the service for Prince Philip in St George's Chapel, Windsor on Saturday. Only couples or family members who lived together, are currently permitted to be seated together - rules that even apply to the Queen.

Instead, she was alone in the Quire and took no part in the deeply religious service.

What she felt about that, we couldn't tell, because the Queen didn't need to put on a mask of dignity, she was wearing one, with her smart black coat and hat and Queen Mary's Richmond diamond and pearl brooch. She sat with her head bowed low and was, according to sources, seen wiping a tear from her eye on arrival.

Nothing the Royal Family does is without thought and the Queen's brooch she wore to her husband's funeral on Saturday, also had a meaningful connection.

The Queen pinned the Queen Mary's Richmond diamond and pearl brooch onto her black coat - a piece she had inherited from her grandmother, which she wore in Australia in 1954.

The brooch, made by Hunt and Roskell, was given to Mary as a wedding present in 1893 by the town of Richmond.

But significantly, the brooch used to be part of the Richmond tiara Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wore on her wedding day in 2018. The Queen had also worn the brooch to Harry and Meghan's wedding. So was it a message of unity and peace?

Meanwhile, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge also wore some of the Queen's jewellery - a diamond and pearl necklace she had previously worn to the Queen and Prince Philip's 70th wedding anniversary and which had also been loaned to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Prince Philip had always wanted a meaningful, no-fuss funeral and in the end, the pandemic meant he got just that, with family members and one friend in attendance.

And while her family has pledged she will never be left to "walk alone" following the death of her husband of 73 years, she did just that as she entered the chapel and had to sit by herself as she bade goodbye to the man who has been by her side since 1947.

Although she didn't speak, her feelings were put into words by Dean of Windsor. "We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen," he said, "our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us … his kindness, humour and humanity."

In the chapel with the Queen were their children and grandchildren, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Sir Tim Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.

Joining them were Princess Margaret's children, David, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto. The Queen's cousins, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra were there alongside Philip's German family Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden, Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Prince Donatus, the Landgrave of Hesse, as well as his friend Penny Brabourne, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Originally published as The Queen's hidden message to Meghan