Sally Bedell Smith, a royal expert and author, tells Diginews.live what she thinks the royal family’s future holds in the wake of Prince Philip’s death.
On Saturday, April 17, the royal, who died on April 9 at the age of 99, was honoured with a special funeral at St. George’s Chapel.
Queen Elizabeth II said her final goodbyes to her husband of 73 years during the intimate service, which was attended by only 30 members of the royal family. On top of the late royal’s coffin, the queen put a handwritten letter that read in part, “I love you.” Along with the thoughtful message, a lovely bouquet of flowers was displayed.
Prince Philip’s life and legacy were commemorated by Her Majesty, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry.
Sally Bedell Smith, a royal expert, and author speaks with Diginews.live about the future of the queen and the British royal family in the wake of Prince Philip’s death.
What would Queen Elizabeth II do now that Prince Philip is no longer with her?
“We’ve grown accustomed to seeing her on her own or with other children and grandchildren since 2017,” Sally states. “As a result, it’s not all that uncommon for her to be alone. But it doesn’t change the fact that this is going to be a major setback for her. She’s been with him for 73 years, and…as she put it, he’s been her’strength and her stay’ all that period.”
She continues, “We’re going to see her going about her business. She’s not going to withdraw from public view as Queen Victoria did. She’ll be out and about, doing whatever is asked of her.”
Who can Queen Elizabeth II depend on for help the most?
Sally says, “I think she’s much closer to Prince Charles than she used to be.” “They’ve had their ups and downs over the years, but I believe she places a great deal of trust in him. She adores all of her children, including Prince Andrew. Princess Anne is a close friend of hers. As a result, she has children who are eager to support her. She has her dresser, Angela Kelly, who acts as a personal assistant and confidante for her, as well as her website and the many people who have worked with her over the years. She is surrounded by a really supportive group of people.”
“She’s clearly very fond of them,” the author of Diana in Search of Herself adds, referring to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. “We don’t know how much she has been in contact with him or if she has tried to give him advice,” Sally says of Prince Harry.
How has the family dynamic changed since Prince Philip’s death?
Sally puts things in perspective by sharing her experiences. “She reigns supreme. And she made him the family’s leader from the start, and he made a lot of the decisions on what the different family members did. And they will seek his counsel and guidance. That, I believe, would be a significant setback. They trusted him, and he served as the family’s glue.”
Furthermore, according to the royal specialist, his death has brought the family closer together. Simply put, “I believe you can see it in all of their comments.”
Prince William and Kate, according to the 72-year-old scholar, “wish to restore” their friendship with Prince Harry. “It might not be the best time for the repair to take place because everyone is focused on the queen,” she says.
“”There may not be enough time,” she says, “and this is the type of thing that will take time to repair.” Nobody is going to wave a wand and say, “We’re all going to get together” after a family breakup like that. They need to understand each other better, and I believe that there is still work to be done.”
What made the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip so unique?
Sally describes them as “having a natural synchronicity about them.” “When he was with her, he realised just what he was supposed to do. He never put a foot in the wrong place; he was still exactly where he needed to be. He never tried to outshine her in any way. Even though they were very different in terms of personalities, I believe they were extremely compatible from the start.”
As she points out, “He is more outgoing, while she is more reserved. He was more adventurous, or he wanted to travel quickly, and he had a modern perspective, but it was significant because he moved her… That was something she noticed right away.”
“”The more she got to know him, the more she realised he’d be the ideal partner for her,” Sally continues, “that he’d be able to devote himself to her when she needed his help, that he’d have an agile, intelligent, and analytical mind…
The other really, really significant thing was that they shared a sense of humour, in addition to being extremely dedicated to duty and service.”
“He really made her laugh, and as someone with her level of obligations, I think that was hugely significant,” Sally says. “She’s also very amusing. So, as for the laughter, many people have said that it binds them. And there’s one more thing that hasn’t gotten much attention: the queen and Prince Philip both had a strong and quiet private Christian faith. They were really concerned about this. They didn’t brag about it, but it was something they both thought.”
Despite the fact that they lived apart after Prince Philip’s retirement, Sally claims that they were in regular contact and saw each other “a reasonable amount.” She recalls spending a lot of time together during the coronavirus pandemic lockout.
“”He led a very separate life up there,” she explains, “which is just what he wanted to do and what she hoped he would do.” But he was a force, the family’s life, and he was always there for her.”