Queen Elizabeth news – Her Majesty DEVASTATED as 'closest friend in the world' the Duchess of Grafton dies age 101

Prince Charles is expected to represent his mother at a public engagement today as she mourns the loss of longtime confidant & lady-in-waiting.

The Queen suffered heartbreaking grief last week after her close friend, Ann Fortune Fitzroy, Duchess of Grafton, passed away at the age of 101.

The devastating loss came as just another low point in an incredibly difficult year for Her Majesty, who lost her husband, Prince Philip, in April, after 73 years of marriage. 

Read our royal family live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    The Queen's touching picture of great-grandchildren with Philip

    SHE might be one of the world's most famous 95-year-olds – but in some ways, The Queen is just like any proud great-grandma.

    Earlier this week, Her Majesty presented the Queen's Medal for Music to organist Thomas Trotter at Windsor Castle.

    In The Queen's office, she has an assortment of family photos on display – including one that's never been seen before.

    Taking pride-of-place on a side table, the portrait shows The Queen and her late husband Prince Philip sitting on a sofa in Windsor Castle's White Drawing Room.

    The picture is believed to have been taken before 2018 as it shows a very young Princess Charlotte perching on her great-grandmother's knee.

    Zara and Mike Tindall's adorable eldest daughter Mia is pictured sitting in the middle of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Labour leader uses Queen as example in fiery PMQs showdown

    Yesterday Labour leader Keir Starmer criticised the Prime Minister for not abiding by the rules and used the Queen as an example of someone who did – even on one of the most difficult days of her life.

    "Her Majesty the Queen sat alone when she marked the passing of the man she'd been married to for 73 years," he told the Commons.

    "Leadership, sacrifice – that's what gives leaders the moral authority to lead.

    "Does the Prime Minister think he has the moral authority to lead and to ask the British people to stick to the rules?"

  • Joseph Gamp

    Queen's staff furious over No.10 party allegations

    THE Queen's staff are reportedly angry over revelations of a Christmas party at No.10 after the monarch was forced to sit alone during Prince Philip's funeral.

    Palace servants are said to have reacted with "utter dismay" at Downing Street's Christmas party scandal which came to light last week.

    At the beginning of the pandemic, Her Majesty left Buckingham Palace formed a support bubble with her late husband Philip at Windsor Castle.

    There, dedicated staff were forced to spend months away from their families in order to protect the 95-year-old Queen.

    Royal staff told The Mirror that during the pandemic, "sacrifices were made from the very top all the way down" but have now been left "worthless" due to Downing Street's alleged illegal parties.

    One staff member, who has more than ten years of service working for the Queen, said some colleagues became "visibly upset" when discussing how the monarch was forced to sit alone at Prince Philip's funeral.

    Heartbreaking pictures from the late Duke's funeral in April show the Queen adhering to social distancing measures as she paid a final farewell to her husband.

    “It would be a gross understatement to say people are angry," one servant told The Mirror.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘There’s no whinging and moaning’

    Lizzie Cundy, who is the ex-wife of former Chelsea star Jason Cundy, revealed: “Meghan’s done two major TV interviews and the book and everything else.

    “You can’t be a hypocrite and have your cake and eat it.

    “Me and Piers were both ghosted by Meghan. We are always getting told that we’re the bitter friends who never got the call back. No, not at all.

    “There was no one more happy than me when they got together. The papers loved them, that’s why I love Wills and Kate – there’s no whinging and moaning.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Charles’ pal has his say

    Charles’ pal said Harry’s reference to the Mahfouz payments was “more damaging than the swipe at Charles’s parenting skills”.

    “This was a challenge to the way he conducts his business which is far more damaging to the future King,” they said.

    The friend added Charles and Harry have “barely spoken since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral” eight months ago.

    And they said: “These constant barbs about his father from America could be very damaging to his reign.

    “Attempts have been made to clear the air but they have barely spoken since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Where to get the new commemorative 50p coin?

    The new design will join a collection of commemorative crown pieces from the Royal Mint over the years, which have celebrated the Queen’s Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees.

    Included in one of the largest collections made by the Royal Mint, the coin will be unveiled next year alongside a commemorative £5 crown.

    Collectors of coins can register their interest to the Royal Mint to claim the commemorative 50p piece.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Meghan pictured posing with sweet note made for her by co-star’s daughter

    AN ADORABLE unearthed photo shows Meghan Markle in her acting days posing with a sweet note made for her by a co-star’s daughter.

    The message lists all of Meghan’s good qualities using each letter of her name.

    Meghan, who was starring in hit legal drama Suits at the time, was given the heartwarming note by Oona, the daughter of co-star Sarah Rafferty, who plays Donna.

    Little Oona listed Meghan as being “marvellous”, “exciting”, “great”, “happy”, “amazing”, and “nice.”

    Sarah and Meghan become close friends after meeting on the set of Suits.

    Meghan famously called her her “Suits sister wife” and used to post about her on social media before she deactivated her account.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Royal Family news you may have missed

    • Prince George’s favourite meal has been revealed & it’s pretty posh for an eight-year-old.
    • And The Queen has banned the royal family from playing Monopoly as it ‘gets too vicious’
    • Plus Princess Charlotte & Princes George & Louis are a fan of GONKS & play hide & seek with them, says nan Carole Middleton.

    How is the Queen doing?

    The Queen usually has her weekly audience with the PM, either by person or by phone, later on Wednesdays.

    She has been resting on doctors' orders and only carrying out light duties such as audiences since spending a night in hospital for preliminary tests on October 20, and later spraining her back.

    She is also preparing to film her Christmas Day message to the nation.

    The Queen is likely to use her annual pre-recorded televised speech, which she writes herself, to reflect on the ongoing challenges facing the country, as well as touching on her own personal grief with the loss of Philip in April.

    The royal family is set to gather to celebrate Christmas with the monarch at Sandringham after last year's festivities were curtailed due to the pandemic.

    • Louis Allwood

      What would Diana do with Princes spare gifts?

      The People’s Princess was well known for breaking royal protocol and her former security, Ken Wharfe, has now told how determined she was to keep her boys down to earth.

      He says that every festive season young William and Harry would be sent hoards of gifts from businesses, as well as members of the public.

      But the Princess of Wales was so mindful that her children could be spoiled, that she would donate many to charity – or even return them.

      Mr Wharfe told OK! : “Diana was very careful to ensure that they weren’t flooded with gifts – gifts did appear from unknown sources, and they were often returned or given to charity because they didn’t need them.

      He said that “she was very conscious about what she bought” because she “knew the hallway at Sandringham would be full of presents.”

    • Louis Allwood

      Rare photo of Phillip and great-grandchildren

      A similar family photo is situated next to this one – which the family released following Prince Philip's passing in April.

      The adorable snap was taken by Kate Middleton at Balmoral Castle in 2018.

      Cradled in the arms of the Queen is Prince Louis – a rare image of the monarch holding one of her great-grandchildren.

      The full line-up of royal children includes William and Kate's children Prince George and Princess Charlotte either side of the Queen.

    • Louis Allwood

      Queen gives glimpse of great-grandchildren

      Earlier this week, Her Majesty presented the Queen's Medal for Music to organist Thomas Trotter at Windsor Castle.

      In The Queen's office, she has an assortment of family photos on display – including one that's never been seen before.

      Taking pride-of-place on a side table, the portrait shows The Queen and her late husband Prince Philip sitting on a sofa in Windsor Castle's White Drawing Room.

      The picture is believed to have been taken before 2018 as it shows a very young Princess Charlotte perching on her great-grandmother's knee.

      Zara and Mike Tindall's adorable eldest daughter Mia is pictured sitting in the middle of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

      Meanwhile, Peter Phillips' daughters Isla and Savannah are seen standing on either side of the gold sofa.

      Prince George – who would have been around four years old at the time – stands behind the sofa and between his great-grandparents.

    • Louis Allwood

      The two people the Queen answers the phone to every time

      She’s one of the most famous women on the planet, but the Queen is said to only have two people that have instant access to her.

      Her Majesty, 95, only answers her phone every time to these two chosen individuals – and they aren’t who you would expect.

      Speaking on the Royally US podcast Christina Garibaldi, royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti revealed: “Apparently the Queen has two people who she speaks to the most on her phones and she also apparently has a mobile phone which is said to be Samsung packed with anti-hacker encryption by MI6 so nobody can hack into her phone.

      “But the two people she phones the most is said to be her daughter Princess Anne and her racing manager John Warren.

      “He is the son-in-law of the Queen’s friend, the late Earl of Carnarvon and his home was Highclere castle in Berkshire which viewers of TV may know better as Downtown Abbey.

      “So this is apparently who can get through to the Queen from anywhere in the world if he calls she answers.”

    • Louis Allwood

      Was it the Queen who tipped Harry and Meghan over the edge?

      In Brothers And Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William Kate, Harry and Meghan, a new book about the Royals, the author, Christopher Andersen, claims that it was in fact the Queen’s actions that tipped them over the edge and finalised their decision to move to California.

      Apparently in 2019, prior to recording her annual festive broadcast, which airs every year on Christmas day, she instructed an assistant to move a photo of Harry and Meghan out of shot.

      Which exact photo it was is unknown, but it is claimed that only Meghan and Harry were in the image.

      It is believed the photo was on a desk alongside other framed photos of Royals including William and Kate, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Queen’s father George VI, and the Duke of Edinburgh, too.

    • Louis Allwood

      What happened on The Princes & The Press

      BBC Two’s The Princes And The Press was ­criticised by the Royal Households in a statement for giving credibility to “overblown and unfounded claims”.

      The row prompted the broadcast of a carol ­service, led by the ­Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey, to be moved from BBC to ITV.

      The documentary had claimed negative stories about the Duchess of Sussex had been leaked by courtiers.

      Last Thursday, Rajan apologised on Twitter for any offence his 2012 article had caused.

    • Louis Allwood

      Royal Family news you may have missed

      • Prince George’s favourite meal has been revealed & it’s pretty posh for an eight-year-old.
      • And The Queen has banned the royal family from playing Monopoly as it ‘gets too vicious’
      • Plus Princess Charlotte & Princes George & Louis are a fan of GONKS & play hide & seek with them, says nan Carole Middleton.

      Homemade chutney for the Queen

      For her first Christmas at Sandringham in 2011, Kate Middleton reportedly gave The Queen a jar of homemade chutney.

      Expert Duncan Larcombe told the publication: “A homemade chutney gift was absolutely spot on – down to earth, practical and frugal – everything Her Majesty loves.

      “It also showed that Kate could relate to the Queen as a normal grandmother and not just the head of state. And it helped forge a bond built on mutual respect and admiration.”

      Charles’ pal has his say

      Charles’ pal said Harry’s reference to the Mahfouz payments was “more damaging than the swipe at Charles’s parenting skills”.

      “This was a challenge to the way he conducts his business which is far more damaging to the future King,” they said.

      The friend added Charles and Harry have “barely spoken since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral” eight months ago.

      And they said: “These constant barbs about his father from America could be very damaging to his reign.

      “Attempts have been made to clear the air but they have barely spoken since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.”

      Mindset of not being spoilt

      The mindset of not being spoilt was passed on to Prince William from Diana, as he is careful to make sure his own children are the same.

      Royal expert and author Duncan Larcombe told The Mirror: “I think we’re looking at three Christmases rolled into one for William and Kate and their children.

      “There will be Christmas on their own with their kids, the more formal celebrations at Sandringham with William’s family and then time with Kate’s family, the Middletons.

      “But something we know for sure about William and Kate is that they want their children to feel normal and so they certainly won’t be lavishing them with expensive gifts, that’s for certain. They won’t let them be spoiled.”

      'Burden of duty’

      Prince Charles will “follow the tradition of the monarchy” in order to spare William the “burden of duty” for as long as possible, claims a former royal butler.

      Former royal butler Grant Harrold told GB news: “I have been asked this question many times by many friends, do I think it’s possible that Prince Charles decides to not take on the position of King and step aside to pass on Prince William. 

      “I actually believe we would not see that happen because Prince Charles is very traditional.”

      Queen rarely seen without gloves

      The Queen is rarely seen without her gloves, which are often Michael Jackson-esque white or a dark-toned leather to match her handbag.

      The monarch wears these for practical reasons during the daytime as she is frequently required to shake hands with hundreds of people.

      This fashion item helps stop germs being spread from person to person.

      Long opera gloves are worn for formal evening events such as state banquets.

      • Louis Allwood

        Why does Prince George always wear shorts?

        William Hanson claims that shorts on young boys are a silent British class marker and trousers are deemed “suburban” – something no self-respecting royal would want to be considered.

        He told The Sun Online: “Not only does The Duchess of Cambridge have to worry about dressing herself but she has to dress her own children appropriately.

        “She has to find a balance between royal tradition, heritage and more proletariat customs, such as the ‘suburban’ habit of making young boys wear trousers.”

        William said the dress code harks back to historic traditions that state “shorts are for little boys, trousers are for men” and he probably won’t wear trousers until he’s around seven or eight years old.

        Although he did break with tradition at his uncle’s wedding by wearing trousers.

      • Louis Allwood

        Prince Charles’ favourite actor loses battle with cancer

        Prince Charles’ favourite actor Antony Sher has died at the age of 72.

        The legendary stage actor, best known for his work performing Shakespeare, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September.

        The Royal Shakespeare Company announced the double Olivier Award-winning actor’s death in a statement on Friday.

      • Louis Allwood

        Where to get the new commemorative 50p coin?

        The new design will join a collection of commemorative crown pieces from the Royal Mint over the years, which have celebrated the Queen’s Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees.

        Included in one of the largest collections made by the Royal Mint, the coin will be unveiled next year alongside a commemorative £5 crown.

        Collectors of coins can register their interest to the Royal Mint to claim the commemorative 50p piece.

      • Louis Allwood

        Kate's Christmas message

        Kate Middleton also wrote: "Christmas is a time when we can reflect on the past, listen to one another, focus on the relationships that nurture us and build our resilience, so we can look forward to a brighter shared future."

        The duchess – who was joined by William at the event – wore a festive Catherine Walker coat with large bow detail, and the Queen Mother's sapphire fringe earrings loaned to her by the Queen.

        Kate said she and William were fortunate to meet and spend time with "phenomenal people" across the country who support individuals and families.

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