Royal Family’s year of sadness and difficulty

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Sussexes’ bombshell Oprah interview and concern for the Queen’s health made 2021 a difficult year for the Windsors.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 8:05 am

In March, royal patriarch Philip spent a month in hospital and underwent heart surgery before returning to Windsor, but he died peacefully at the castle at the age of 99 on April 9.

The Queen described it as a “period of great sadness” but said she was “deeply touched” by the tributes paid to her husband of 73 years and the support and kindness shown to her family.

At the duke’s funeral, amid Covid restrictions, the monarch poignantly sat alone in a face mask socially distanced from her loved ones, in mourning for Philip.

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The Queen records her annual Christmas broadcast in the White Drawing Room in Windsor Castle, Berkshire

The Queen continued with her duties as head of state, and within weeks appeared in public for the State Opening of Parliament.

But she was grieving for the loss of her loyal consort against a backdrop of family drama.

While Philip was still in hospital, Harry and Meghan aired personal rifts on a public stage from California in their bombshell TV interview with Oprah Winfrey. They plunged the monarchy into crisis when they accused an unnamed royal of racism and said the institution failed to help the duchess when she was suicidal.

Winfrey was left opened mouthed when Meghan – the first mixed-race member of the modern monarchy – said a fellow royal was worried about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.