Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday carried out her first major engagement since the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip. Opening a new session of Parliament, Her Majesty, in a poignant moment, sat alone on a Throne in the House of Lords. Her late husband had accompanied her for decades and had typically been seated beside her in the Consort's Throne as she delivered her speech. However, in more recent years, her oldest son, Prince Charles, occupied the Consort's Throne alongside his mother.
Dressed in a lavender-colored day dress and matching hat rather than the full ceremonial dress and crown, with the Imperial State Crown, signifying the regalia of the Head of State, placed on a table next to her, according to PEOPLE, the Queen attended the State Opening of Parliament in Westminster accompanied by her son and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The two arrived separate from the Queen, though Charles did not sit beside his mother during the formal ceremony at the Houses of Parliament. Instead, he and his wife were seated several feet away as the Queen delivered a speech setting out the government's legislative plans.
Although the Queen has been continuing her official duties since her husband’s passing, this marked the monarch's first official appearance in public in her role as head of state and her first engagement outside Windsor Castle since Philip’s April 9 passing. Philip died "peacefully" at Windsor Castle on April 9 as the longest-serving consort to a British sovereign. He and the Queen married in 1947, with Philip, a former naval officer, supporting Her Majesty on royal engagements and attending thousands of solo appearances in the decades that followed. He also supported several philanthropic endeavors and was associated with around 800 organizations. He retired from public duties in 2017.
Members of the British royal family came together on April 17 to lay their patriarch to rest. Philip's funeral service was a scaled-back affair in comparison to traditional royal funerals. Although the smaller nature of the ceremony was due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it had been reported that it had been Philip's wishes to have a smaller funeral. The funeral also reunited the prince's grandson, Prince Harry, with the rest of his family, as he had been in the United States with pregnant wife Meghan Markle for the past year.