Grieving Queen will be consoled by new puppies, says royal expert

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The Queen’s new puppies are likely to play an important role consoling their owner as mourning continues for the Duke of Edinburgh, according to a royal expert.

Poignant images from Philip’s funeral on Saturday showed the monarch sitting alone in St George’s Chapel at Windsor, and on Wednesday she will mark her 95th birthday – only able to meet those outside her household in the open air.

But the grieving Queen will have two lively new companions – a corgi called Muick and a dorgi named Fergus – running around her feet and providing a “distraction”, along with her elderly dorgi Candy.

Queen welcomes two new puppies
The Queen with some of her dogs in 1973 (PA)

“But clearly that decision was reversed and, as it turned out, it probably is very fortuitous. I think it’s useful to have these puppies in her life now as way of a distraction.”

The Queen’s life-long love of horses and dogs is well known and, while Philip spent his final period in hospital, it emerged the Queen had been given the puppies.

Mr Little believes that, while Buckingham Palace will remain the seat of the royal court, the Queen may make Windsor Castle her permanent home, travelling to the capital for official events.

The Queen’s birthday will fall during the period of royal mourning so any public events to mark it – such as the release of an official picture – are likely to be cancelled.

Duke of Edinburgh death
The Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

“I don’t think there would have been a fuss made of it, but nevertheless 95 is quite something. This is going to be a private day for her and that’s how it should be.

“Royal mourning continues until Friday so that makes it even more of a sombre occasion.”

In paying tribute to Philip, who died peacefully at Windsor on April 9, aged 99, members of the royal family have been rallying to the Queen’s side and said they will continue to support her in the future.

Duke of Edinburgh death
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, with their daughter Lady Louise, paid tribute to Philip along with other members of the royal family (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Little added: “I think she will be personally devastated by this, but I don’t think the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, is going to impact on her working role.

“I think, as monarch, although she doesn’t have him there for guidance, I think her role will continue pretty much as it has for the last 69 years.

“There’s the public queen and there’s the private queen, and she’s great at being able to compartmentalise.”

Duke of Edinburgh funeral
The Princess Royal, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex follow Philip’s coffin into St George’s Chapel (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

But Philip’s funeral would have provided the opportunity for her to speak with the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and her other grandchildren.

Asked about the funeral during a briefing, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman highlighted that Boris Johnson had observed the national minute’s silence in memory of the duke on Saturday afternoon.

He added: “Alongside many of us across the country, he thought that the funeral was a poignant and fitting tribute to a much-loved and highly respected public figure, whose extraordinary life we will forever remember with gratitude for his decades of selfless service to this country.”

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