Even when many individuals imagine it, it is not strictly true, royal historians say.
“There have been extra occasions she’s been in tears than folks acknowledge or select to recollect,” says Sally Bedell Smith, the acclaimed American biographer of the queen and different senior royals.
Bedell Smith ticks off a half-dozen events when the queen was in tears, and never simply in 1997 when the beloved royal yacht, the Britannia, was retired. She cried when she went to Aberfan, Wales, in 1966 to fulfill with survivors of a horrifying avalanche of coal waste that killed 144 folks, most of them kids, Bedell Smith says. At her sister Princess Margaret’s funeral in 2002, individuals who had been there and seated close to her instructed Bedell Smith she was “very tearful,” and “the saddest I’ve ever seen her.”
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“She has shed tears but it surely’s been at applicable occasions, such because the Remembrance Sunday commemorations” for Britain’s conflict useless each November, provides longtime royal commentator Victoria Arbiter, who spent a part of her childhood in Kensington Palace because the daughter of a former press secretary to the queen.
However the widespread impression that the queen hardly ever reveals emotion will get to the underlying function of the longest-serving reigning monarch in British historical past: After 69 years on her throne, she’s had a variety of observe at hiding her emotions when mandatory – and sometimes it is mandatory.
The queen held again her undoubted sorrow on Saturday on the funeral of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died April 9 at 99. The 94-year-old monarch saved her composure as she exited her Bentley and entered St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Citadel, a tiny, stooped determine wearing black and sporting an identical face masks. She sat alone on the service, her head bowed, and left with the Dean of Windsor, who officiated.
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“I do not assume we will underestimate how vital a loss that is to the queen – it is simple this would be the hardest day of her life,” Arbiter says.
Her household will see her grief up shut, however these watching the televised service didn’t. All 30 company within the congregation, in line with pandemic guidelines, had been sporting masks. TV cameras stayed a respectful distance from royal faces throughout the service, as is customary.
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The queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, stated to be her favourite, gave a touch of his mom’s demeanor when he spoke to reporters two days after his father’s dying.
“The queen, as you would expect, is an incredibly stoic person,” Andrew, 61, stated. “She described (his dying) as having left an enormous void in her life however we, the household, those which might be shut, are rallying spherical to make it possible for we’re there to assist her.”
The definition of a stoic is an individual who can endure ache or hardship with out displaying their emotions or complaining. That is the queen to a T, says Bedell Smith.
“She is a girl of deep feeling however she works very exhausting to current an emotionless face,” says Bedell Smith. “It is partly because of her function, and partly her temperament and the way in which she was introduced up.”
The then-Princess Elizabeth, as she was recognized till her ascension in 1952, was educated very intentionally to not present her emotions in public, Bedell Smith says.
“Should you see her at any variety of (performances) or occasions, for sensible causes she watches however she does not applaud,” Bedell Smith says. “The speculation is, if she begins to precise response of any form, it is going to be seen as favoring one group over one other. So she’s perfected this impartial look.”
At occasions, she’s been criticized for having a “stony” face, for showing to be unfeeling or uncaring, Arbiter says. She is damned if she reveals emotion, damned if she does not, so her most secure choice is to not react.
“One of the best ways to keep away from criticism is to offer away nothing, but it surely takes a will of metal and a few years of observe,” Arbiter says.
In comparison with her husband, who was extra more likely to specific himself if he was vexed or moved indirectly, she has to indicate neutrality. “The self-discipline! She is so disciplined in each manner,” Bedell Smith says.
As a member of Britain’s World Battle II technology, when so many endured hardship, loss, grief and devastation, stoicism was a coping mechanism for everyone, not simply the queen, says Arbiter.
“There is a well-known phrase the royals say: ‘Do not put on non-public grief on a public sleeve,’ ” Arbiter says. “The household acknowledge that so many Britons have gone by means of hell up to now yr and they’ll need to preserve that perspective” throughout the funeral.
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The household desires the ceremony to be targeted on the duke, the longest-serving royal consort in British historical past, and to his years of service to the nation.
The queen, who’s head of the Church of England, could select to make her remaining goodbye in an much more non-public and religious setting, in her non-public chapel the place his coffin has been at relaxation since his dying. There are not any TV cameras there.
“I feel earlier than the funeral she can have gone to the non-public chapel for a second with coffin alone,” Arbiter says. “That shall be her intimate second of goodbye, a quiet second of reflection and religion.”
Then she placed on her impartial face, and a masks and led her household by means of one other royal ceremony to be remembered down the ages.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Prince Philip funeral: Did Queen Elizabeth cry as world watched?