Queen Elizabeth Attends First Royal Duty Since Prince Philip’s Death
The monarch hosted a retirement ceremony for Earl Peel – her former Lord Chamberlain
The monarch – who turns 95 this month – hosted a retirement ceremony Tuesday at Windsor Castle in honor of Earl Peel who stepped down as Lord Chamberlain a week before Prince Philip died, according to the Court Circular.
"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 daily record of public duties of the British monarchy says.
Peel's duties are being taken over by former MI5 spy chief Baron Andrew Parker.
Prior to Peel's retirement after 14 years in the Lord Chamberlain position, he was overseeing the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral proceedings.
The funeral will be at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle at 3 p.m. U.K. time (10 a.m. ET) and will be broadcast live. The first details were confirmed at a briefing held by palace officials on Saturday.
The Lord Chamberlain position is the most senior officer role appointed by the royal household. They oversee all senior appointments of the senior royal family, facilitate communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords and co-ordinates engagements between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.
The Queen's return to royal engagements is no surprise to senior staffers.
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"Her family will step up and be by her side, but she will carry on," a former senior aide at the palace tells PEOPLE. "She understands that she has a job to do, and [Philip] would have wanted her to crack on. She did do so when he retired from public life."
A close royal insider adds, "She will never abdicate because of duty and honor and public service is so deep in her, as it was for him."