Queen and Prince Philip surrounded by their beautiful great-grandchildren in touching pic

Queen ‘hinted slim monarchy at Diamond Jubilee’ says expert

The royals have been paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh each day since he died at the age of 99 on Friday. This evening, the Royal Family released new pictures of Philip, including a photograph taken by the Duchess of Cambridge of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh surrounded by seven of their great-grandchildren at Balmoral Castle in 2018.

In another picture, which was posted on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Twitter account, William and Kate are seen along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in a photo with Philip and the Queen at Balmoral in 2015.

In a tweet from the account of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Philip and a young Charles are pictured on horseback playing polo.

The Royal Family posted a caption alongside the picture of all the grandchildren, which said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh surrounded by seven of their great-grandchildren at Balmoral Castle in 2018.”

The Queen has posted an adorable picture of her great-grandchildren

The Queen has posted an adorable picture of her great-grandchildren (Image: ROYAL FAMILY)

It comes as the Queen also announced she has returned to royal duties just four days after the death of her husband.

On Tuesday, the 94-year-old monarch hosted her first in-person event since Philip’s passing on Friday to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel.

Her return to work comes as preparations are under way for Philip’s funeral, which will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass – this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

It was announced at the weekend the monarchy and their households would observe two weeks of royal mourning, with members of the family “continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances,” a royal official said.

The Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the duke’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge – before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle.

In overall charge is Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel’s retirement after more than 14 years in the post.

The Lord Chamberlain oversees all senior appointments in the household, is the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords and ensures co-ordination between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

During a ceremony held at Windsor Castle, the Queen accepted her former royal aide’s wand and insignia of office.

The official engagement was recorded in the Court Circular – a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and her family.

It said: “The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain.”

The Royal Family broke the sad news that Prince Philip had died last week on their offical social media pages. 

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

Over the past few days, different royals have shared their personal memories and stories of the Duke. 

Earlier today, Princess Anne reminisced about sailing in her younger years as she made her first in-person appearance at an official event since her father’s death.

Anne appeared in good spirits as she met with members of the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight on Wednesday – the prestigious club the Duke of Edinburgh was once admiral of.

The princess, 70, said she could “understand” why Philip visited the Cowes-based club, adding that he “enjoyed coming down here”.

Anne also spoke fondly of her “links” to Cowes and “early memories of sailing”.

Asked by Royal Yacht Squadron commodore Jamie Sheldon if she had ever sailed on a Flying Fifteen – a sailboat designed by Uffa Fox – Anne said: “I was considered a bit too young and a bit of a nuisance.

“I started really with Bloodhound (a yacht). I regressed to dinghy sailing for a bit, but then got a slightly bigger boat.”

She added: “Early memories, this was, days-out were great fun. Events here and events in Cowes, and Uffa’s dinners. All of that. I can understand why he was here regularly.

“Of course the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) used to have its meetings, summer meetings, used to be on Britannia during Cowes Week, all of that.”

Princess Eugenie also paid a heartfelt tribute to her “dearest Grandpa” the Duke of Edinburgh, pledging to look after “Granny” the Queen for him.

Eugenie, one of the duke’s eight grandchildren, recalled fond memories being taught to cook, paint and what to read by Philip, who died on Friday aged 99.

Looking back on happier days, the princess, 31, who just weeks ago gave birth to her first child, talked of incinerating sausages at family barbecues, with the duke “swooping in to save the day”.

She added: “I remember your hands and your laugh and your favourite beer.”

The princess pledged: “Thank you for your dedication and love for us all and especially Granny, who we will look after for you.”

More to follow…

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