Prince Charles takes over duties as Queen is in mourning once again

The Queen has decided not to attend a public engagement shortly after the death of her closest aide.

On 3 December, the Queen lost one of her closest friends and loyal aids—the Duchess of Grafton who was 101 years old. The devastating loss came as a huge blow to the Queen, who just grieved the death of her husband, Prince Philip, eight months ago.

The Duchess of Grafton

The Duchess of Grafton, who also goes by the name Ann Fortune FitzRoy, had been working for the monarchy since 1953 and had been by the Queen’s side for her entire 69-year reign. FitzRoy first worked as a Lady of the Bedchamber, and then in 1966 she was appointed the Mistress of the Robes. As the person in charge of the monarch’s wardrobe, jewellery, along with other household affairs, her relationship with the Queen was considered more as friendship than anything else.

The two ladies were so close that FizRoy even made the Queen the godmother of her second child, Virginia Fitzroy, shortly after she started working for the royal family. Likewise, the Queen thanked her for her continued loyalty and friendship by awarding her the Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1980.

Given their long standing relationship, her passing has not been easy for the Queen. According to The Sun, the Queen was due to present the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering at St. James’ Palace on Wednesday (8 December) butPrince Charles will attend the ceremony in her stead.

The Queen

This has been a particularly devastating year for the Queen of England, who did not only have to suffer the death of her husband, Prince Philip, during a raging pandemic. But also had to withstand many controversies surrounding the royal family—from Prince Harry and Meghan’s rift with the family, to sex abuse allegations against her son Prince Andrew.

The Queen also had a health scare of her own in October, which required her to skip out several commitments including COP26 and a royal tour in Northern Ireland.

Prince Charles: Is he becoming 'Prince Regent' now that the Queen is stepping back from royal duties? Prince Charles: Is he becoming 'Prince Regent' now that the Queen is stepping back from royal duties?