It's an image taking the world's breath away.
On April 17, Prince Philip, the longest-serving British royal consort, was laid to rest following a funeral service at St. George's Chapel. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the gathering was small—there were only 30 members of the royal family in attendance—but just as poignant. And there was no image more indicative of the family's loss during these historic times than that of Queen Elizabeth II sitting alone in a pew as she mourned Philip, her husband of nearly 74 years.
Because of the pandemic, royal attendees were seated at a safe distance from each other and were notably donning face masks while inside. The image of the grieving monarch was in sharp contrast to just three years earlier, when she was seated alongside her beloved husband in that same pew for the wedding of their grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
As the family said their final goodbyes to the Duke of Edinburgh, the sovereign bid farewell to her lifetime partner with a note penned on her stationary and placed atop his casket. It read, in part, "I love you."
It was a fitting full-circle tribute as the couple exchanged letters early on in their romance while Philip was serving in the Royal Navy.
While she was seated by herself during the funeral, the queen will certainly not be alone as she continues to mourn the loss of her husband. Ahead of the funeral, their granddaughter Princess Eugenie made a public promise to her late grandfather on behalf of the royal family.
"Thank you for your dedication and love for us all," Eugenie penned in a tribute, "and especially Granny, who we will look after for you."