The Queen has also attended funerals of members of the Royal Family. It is rare for the Queen to attend funerals of people outside of the Royal Family. Nonetheless, she has made the exception on some occasions.
The world is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, after the news was announced on September 8, 2022. From 1953 to 2022, after 70 years on the throne, the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history leaves quite a legacy.
The Royal Family matriarch only attends funerals of family members and very close friends. However, during her reign, the Queen made an exception to also attend the funeral of two prime ministers, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher.
Britain will now have its first State funeral since that of wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.
But which funerals did the Queen attend during her 70 years on the throne? HITC brings you all the information.
Queen Elizabeth II did not normally attend funerals of non-royal people. However, she made a special exception for Winston Churchill’s funeral on January 30, 1995.
Churchill was the Prime Minister during her first years on the throne. He also served under her father, King George VI. According to Showbiz CheatSheet, it was also believed that the two maintained a close friendship as they would have weekly meetings that would last “closer to two hours”.
“Both my husband and I owe so much and for whose wise guidance during the early years of my reign I shall always be so profoundly grateful,” she said.
To commemorate their friendship, and his support during her early years on the throne, the Queen attended Churchill’s funeral accompanied by Prince Philip, a young Prince Charles, and the Queen Mother.
Diana tragically died in a car accident entering the Pont de l’Alma tunnel on August 31, 1997. At the time of the incident, Princess Diana was in Paris with her boyfriend at the time, Dodi Al Fayed, who also died at the scene.
At the age of 36, she left her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, without a mother. The nation and the whole world mourned her death, as many referred to her as “the people’s Princess”.
Following the death of Princess Diana, the Queen received public anger for remaining silent for nearly a week. Nonetheless, Her Majesty later revealed that she was providing emotional support for both of her grandchildren.
On the day of Diana’s funeral, Queen Elizabeth II bowed her head as Diana’s coffin passed by as a sign of respect.
The Queen Mother
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, née Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, died on March 30, 2002, in her sleep at the Royal lodge at the age of 101. Her Majesty was at her bedside at the time.
The Queen’s mother was a popular member of the Royal Family and the two maintained a very close relationship. Once the news was announced, it broke the hearts of the nation. Her death initiated Operation Tay Bridge, a pre-planned and detailed explanation of the mourning of her death.
According to The Sun, Queen Elizabeth II did not cry at the funeral, keeping her professionalism to stay rigid and not showing any emotions during public appearances.
On April 8, 2013, Margaret Thatcher died of a stroke at the Ritz Hotel at the age of 87.
Queen Elizabeth II decided to attend Lady Thatcher’s funeral after the latter served as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Almost 50 years after her first attendance at a Commoners’ funeral, she joined the thousands of people that paid respects to the longest-serving prime minister back in 2013.
The special occasion, and exception, marked the second time in the Queen’s reign that she attended the funeral of a prime minister. She has not attended anyone else’s funeral outside of the Royal Family ever since.
Prince Phillip passed away on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99 and two months before his 100th birthday. He is also the longest-serving royal consort in history, accompanying his wife since she first sat on the throne in 1953.
As stated in the official statement from the royal family, Prince Philip “died peacefully”. His cause of death on the certificate was stated as “old age”.
After speculation, Queen Elizabeth II made an emotional and heartbreaking appearance at the funeral of her beloved husband, Prince Philip. She made her entrance in the arm of her son, Prince Andrew.
It had also been the Queen’s first major public appearance in months. Tearful throughout the funeral service, Queen Elizabeth revealed that his death left “a huge void” in her life.