How will the Queen go on without Prince Philip by her side? | Annie Lewis

Today, the Queen celebrates her 95th birthday. However this year there is not much cause for celebration. On Saturday, she watched her beloved husband, Prince Philip, be lowered into St George's Chapel and laid to rest.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:00 pm
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh walk at Broadlands, Hampshire, in 2007. (Photo by Fiona HANSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FIONA HANSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

It was devastating and emotional to see the Queen all alone at the funeral. However it was an example of what many wives and husbands have had to go through during the past year, when they too have lost their other half.

By the end of this week, the official mourning period ends. This two-week interval since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death has meant all inner communications are sent on black-edged stationery; all official royal social media accounts have changed their profile pictures to a black coat of arms; and for government, no new laws can be given Royal Assent.

However the Queen’s red box will be bursting at its seams and royal engagements will resume.

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The Queen has most likely been preparing for her husband’s death since he went into hospital in February, however that doesn’t make her loss any less distressing.

In a speech to celebrate the couple’s golden wedding in 1997, the Queen said: ‘This and many other countries, owe him [Prince Philip] a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’

At 95, the Queen will understandably reduce her public engagements, with her son and grandson readily available to fill the void.

As Prince William wrote in his tribute to Prince Philip, ‘he would want us to get on with the job’.

But the question is whether the Queen wants to do the job without him. No one doubts her capability, but her job is not the same without him by her side.

I hope she continues. She is always steady at the helm of our country and commonwealth.

However, I would not disagree if she decided to step down and allow her son or grandson to step up in her place. Her whole life has been dedicated to service. After a tumultuous few years, I don’t think anyone could blame her for bowing out now after such a huge loss.

Super League backlash will shake up football’s future

Plans for a breakaway super league have predictably ruffled feathers, outraging fans, MPs and even Prince William.

The idea by Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to take part in the breakaway league with other rich European clubs is obscene.

I have always found it incredulous that the football players and managers of these clubs mentioned were awarded such hefty salaries, compared to NHS workers and soldiers on the frontline.

The super league proposal has highlighted the sport’s greed for money. However I hope the disturbing actions of these clubs do not taint football’s future.

I was devastated by death of actress Helen McCrory

When I first watched BBC’s Peaky Blinders a few years ago, I was instantly in awe of Helen McCrory.

She is widely known for playing Polly Gray – the strong, fiery matriarch which glues the Shelby family together. However she made a name for herself at Shakespeare’s Globe and the West End, resulting in a very fulfilling acting career.

Her devastating death at just 52 has been made more poignant by the fact she kept her cancer a secret, even from friends. It is reported she did not want her illness or death to affect her work or relationships. I think that is incredibly brave.

Her husband, Damian Lewis, wrote: ‘She died as she lived. Fearlessly.’