Queen has remained ‘committed’ through ‘saddest days of her life’ in 2021 ‘bleak period’

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Queen Elizabeth II, 95, has dealt with many challenges over the last 12 months, following a string of royal controversies. The year was one of the most turbulent in the nearly 70-year reign of the country’s longest-serving monarch. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the Royal Family was confirmed by his grandmother, the Queen, last February. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had announced their intention to step back from their roles in the Firm the previous year and now live in the US.

Meanwhile, Prince Andrew was also served with legal papers last year, alleging he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre in 2001.

The Queen’s son vigorously denies the allegations made by Ms Roberts, who claims she was trafficked to the royal by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

As well as the controversies, the Queen also faced the tragic loss of her husband, Prince Philip in 2021.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the country’s longest-serving royal consort, passed away aged 99 at Windsor Castle in April.

Buckingham Palace said it was with “deep sorrow” that the Queen announced the death of her husband.

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Although Her Majesty experienced some of the “saddest days of her life” last year, she has still remained “committed” to her duties, Robert Hardman has claimed.

The author and royal journalist was interviewed for the Channel 5 documentary, ‘2021: The Queen’s Terrible Year’.

He said: “If you look back at all the events over the last year, there was this bleak period.

“She’s been through some very sad moments in it, some of the saddest days of her life.

“Saying goodbye to Prince Philip; and that incredibly sad image of her alone in St George’s Chapel.

“That really is heartbreaking and yet through all that she is absolutely committed to the job.”

Mr Hardman referred to a tragic photograph taken of the Queen as she sat alone at Philip’s funeral.

The monarch, dressed all in black, cut a lonely figure as she sat separately from the other mourners due to COVID-19 guidelines.

In the Channel 5 documentary, Lord Robin Butler, a former Cabinet secretary, also offered his thoughts on how the monarch has shown strength during difficult times.

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Speaking of Her Majesty’s enduring popularity, he told the programme: “2021 has been a particularly difficult year.

“But I think that the way in which the Queen has led us and the way that she has handled it, she has been a role model, as she always is.

“And I think that that will have deepened the respect and affection that the nation feels for her.”

The documentary also compared the Queen’s experiences last year to her famous “annus horribilis” speech in 1992.

That year the monarch addressed some of the challenges she had faced as she marked the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

In 1992, Her Majesty witnessed a devastating fire rip through Windsor Castle, as well as the breakdown of two of her children’s marriages.

‘2021: The Queen’s Terrible Year’ is available to stream on My5.

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