Queen returns to royal duties four days after Prince Philip's death

13 April 2021, 22:39 | Updated: 14 April 2021, 10:46

By Will Taylor

The Queen returned to royal duties on Tuesday, four days after her husband Prince Philip died.

Amid the Royal Family's mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen hosted a ceremony as the Earl Peel stepped down as Lord Chamberlain.

The Royal Family's website said Andrew Parker, the former director general of MI5, has replaced the Earl Peel, who had overseen the arrangements for Prince Philip's funeral.

The engagement at Windsor Castle took place days before the duke's funeral, on Saturday.

Read more: Countess of Wessex praises 'amazing' Queen as she leaves Windsor Castle

The Lord Chamberlain oversees all senior appointments in the household and is the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords.

The position also ensures co-ordination between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

The Court Circular - a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and her family - said: "The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain."

The event, which will not be a state funeral, will be televised and a national minute's silence will be held at 3pm.

National mourning, which has been declared by the Prime Minister and approved by the Queen, began on April 9 and will run until the end of the day of the funeral. The Royal Family has embarked on two weeks of morning.

Boris Johnson will not attend the funeral as only 30 can go under Covid restrictions, and the Duke's close family, including the Duke of Sussex, are expected.

Meanwhile, the public has been asked not to gather and lay tributes at royal residences amid the pandemic.

Read more: Duke of Edinburgh’s death has left a ‘huge void’ for the Queen, says Prince Andrew

London Mayor Sadiq Khan posted online: "The Govt & Royal Family are asking for floral tributes not be laid at Royal Residences.

"Members of the public may wish to consider making a donation to a charity of their choice, or one of The Duke of Edinburgh's Patronages in his memory instead."

The Queen had only returned to official engagements outside Windsor Castle, where she had been quarantining with the Duke of Edinburgh, days before Prince Philip's death.

At the end of March, she visited the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede, Surrey, where a wreath was laid on her behalf.