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A royal expert has claimed Queen Elizabeth II "ultimately died of a broken heart" and "was never the same" after husband Philip died.
The beloved monarch was laid to rest on Monday in a moving state funeral which included an impeccable service at Westminster Abbey followed by an emotional procession to Windsor Castle, where her coffin was buried alongside that of her true love Philip.
The late Duke of Cambridge passed away in April last year, two months shy of his 100th birthday. Heartbreaking images of the Queen were shared from his funeral, where she sat on her own for the service due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Katie Nicholl, author of The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown, believes the pain of losing her lifelong partner had a profound effect on Her Majesty in the months to come and feels it eventually took its toll before her death at Balmoral aged 96.
"I think she ultimately died of a broken heart really," Nicholl said on Entertainment Tonight. "She was never the same after Philip went… He was, she said, her strength and stay. He supported her in everything she did in life."
Nicholl added: "I think it's fair to say that she wouldn't be the queen she was without the support of Philip."
Philip was the longest-serving Royal Consort when he died, having served from the day the Queen took the throne back in February 1952. They first met back in 1939 at Britannia Royal Naval College, where they were introduced while the Queen was touring the grounds with her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
It was from there that they began exchanging letters, with the Queen just 13 at the time. Philip asked the King if he could marry his daughter several years later in 1946 – a request that was accepted providing their engagement was delayed until the Queen's 21st birthday the following April. It was announced publicly a few months later in July 1947 before they were married that November.
They were married for 73 years at the time of Philip's passing. Speaking of her husband on their golden wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen said: "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.
"And I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."
Both the Queen and Philip are now buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, part of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Buckingham Palace have since confirmed a slab previously bearing the names of the Queen's parents – who are also buried there – has since been amended to include the Queen's and her husband Philip, to mark their final resting place.
Royal historian Hugo Vickers said after the Queen's funeral: "“Now they will be together for an eternity."
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- Prince Philip
- The Queen’s funeral
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