The Queen returns to royal duties after Prince Philip's death

By Zach Harper, with files from Ainhoa Barcelona

The Queen returns to royal duties after Prince Philip's death

The Queen has undertaken her first royal duty since Prince Philip passed away on April 9 at the age of 99.

Her Majesty held a retirement ceremony for former Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel, on April 13, according to the Press Association. Earl Peel had been scheduled to retire on March 31, with the new Lord Chamberlain, Lord Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, to take up the post the following day.

"During the 14 years that I have served in this role, I have witnessed a great deal of positive change across the royal households," Earl Peel said when he announced last spring that he would resign. "It has of course been both a great privilege and pleasure to be part of so many significant events, and to be able to serve Her Majesty and the Royal Household in this unique position."

The Queen with Earl Peel, the former Lord Chamberlain, at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in 2013. Photo: © John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images

The Lord Chamberlain oversees conduct and general business within the royal household and acts as the channel of communication between the sovereign and House of Lords. The role also involves organizing the Queen's ceremonial activities or public-facing events, such as the Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, state visits, weddings and the State Opening of Parliament. Earl Peel also helped organize Philip's funeral.

The Queen and Royal Family are currently in the middle of a period of mourning, and while most of their engagements will be cancelled during this time, they may opt to continue to hold them where appropriate. Royal Family members will wear black or mourning bands during this time.

Philip will receive a ceremonial royal funeral on April 17 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle that will begin shortly before 3 p.m. local time. He will be laid to rest in the Royal Vault underneath the chapel. Just 30 people will attend the service in line with COVID-19 regulations. Prince Harry is understood to have returned to the United Kingdom to be at the ceremony.

Following the funeral, the Queen's next scheduled public duty is the State Opening of Parliament on May 11. Prince Charles will accompany her to that event.

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