Kelly, who has worked with the queen for nearly 30 years, wrote about being with Elizabeth after the Duke of Edinburgh’s pared-down funeral last year. Philip died on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99.
“I helped her off with her coat and hat and no words were spoken,” Kelly wrote in an updated version of her book, “The Other Side of the Coin: Platinum Jubilee Edition,” an excerpt of which was shared with Hello! magazine on Monday. “The Queen then walked to her sitting room, closed the door behind her, and she was alone with her own thoughts.”
She also gave some insight into the staff who were present when the duke’s coffin was placed on the Land Rover he’d modified to function as a hearse.
“You could see the expression of sadness on everyone’s faces to see such a great and well-respected man making his last journey,” Kelly said of the staff. “Their thoughts, I’m sure, were for The Queen, knowing she had lost a husband and a best friend. The nation shared the grief and their hearts went out to Her Majesty.”
“I’m sure some of the prayers that were offered were by those who had never prayed before,” Kelly added. “I think those prayers were offered to keep The Queen strong throughout the months to come, when she would be without her husband.”
Philip’s funeral was limited to only 30 people, due to the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic, but he was recently honored with a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey that included a much larger audience.
Kelly ― whose official title is “personal assistant, adviser, and curator to Her Majesty the Queen (jewelry, insignias, and wardrobe)” ― had an unparalleled opportunity to observe Philip and the queen’s time together during the pandemic. She was one of the few staff members who quarantined with Philip and Elizabeth during lockdown.
Katya Shipster, publishing director for Harper NonFiction, released a statement earlier this month about the new edition of Kelly’s book. Shipster says it will “bring the content of the book right up to date following on from the unprecedented events of the past two years.”
“It tells the story of the Royal bubble as well as the lengths Angela and the Royal Household went to, to ensure the safety of our monarch,” the publishing director added.