The Queen Mother was left devastated after the sudden death of her husband George VI in February 1952. Surrounded by her two daughters and mother-in-law, the former Queen cut a sombre figure as she maintained her composure throughout the funeral service. Royal commentator Angela Levin claimed Elizabeth had not cried during the ceremony to avoid embarrassing her late husband as the Royal Family and the public paid their tributes to him in London.
Speaking to Channel 5 documentary ‘King George VI: The Accidental King’: “The Queen Mother was believed not to have cried.
“But of course she would have wanted the King not be embarrassed by her weeping. She could cry in private.”
The death of George VI marked the second-biggest shift in the Royal Family in less than 30 years after the unexpected abdication of Edward VIII in 1936.
Prince Edward’s decision to give up the crown in order to marry his divorced lover Wallis Simpson allegedly caused the Queen Mother to resent her brother-in-law because of the pressure put on George VI.
Royal commentator Sarah Gristwood said: “The Queen Mother, obviously, distraught and she did, rightly or wrongly, did put the blame of his death on the Duke of Windsor.
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“If her husband hadn’t had the role forced upon him, then he might still be alive.”
Relationships with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor had been strained since Edward had abdicated and would remain frosty for the rest of the prince and Wallis’ life.
Queen Elizabeth II was informed of her father’s death while on a tour of Kenya with Prince Philip. She had last seen King George VI as he waved the couple off at Heathrow Airport in early February.
Like her mother, Her Majesty had been “upbeat” about George VI recovering after being diagnosed with cancer a few months early. His death was a major blow to the new Queen and the Royal Family.
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While Her Majesty swiftly came to terms with her new position, the Duke of Edinburgh reportedly did not react well to the sudden change in the couple’s circumstances.
Philip, who personally informed his wife about her father’s death, “looked as if you’d dropped half the world on him,” according to Commander Michael Parker – a courtier who had travelled to Kenya with the couple.
Mr Parker said: “I never felt so sorry for anyone in my life.”
Despite his alleged reaction, Prince Philip has been standing by the Queen through the most important moments of her reign and has offered his support to carry out the duties of royal life’s ups and downs.