Queen ‘was supported by her new rock Sophie of Wessex and Prince Edward’ with tea after Phil's funeral

THE Queen is being supported by her son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Wessex after the couple joined her for tea following Prince Philip's funeral.

The monarch's family have rallied around her after the death of her husband of 73 years – with Sophie said to be a particular pillar of support.

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And after heartbreaking images of the Queen sitting alone at the chapel in Windsor were beamed around the world, she was joined by Edward, Sophie and their children, Lady Louise, 17 and James, Viscount Severn, 13, for tea.

It comes as:

  • Prince Andrew left his father's funeral in a brand new £220,000 Bentley
  • The royals have 'agreed a rota' for visiting the Queen on her birthday this week
  • Charles and William will lead a summit on the future on the monarchy
  • The heartbreaking photo of the Queen sitting alone at the funeral prompts calls to ease Covid rules
  • Charles masterminded a plan to get his sons to talk to each other after the funeral ended, a royal expert claims

Shy Sophie has stepped up to take care of the monarch after the Duke of Edinburgh's death.

She and Edward were among the first to visit the Queen in the hours after Philip died at Windsor.

And with tears in her eyes, she told reporters her mother-in-law had been "amazing".

The following day, she, Edward and Prince Andrew attended a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor.

Speaking to mourners, she said Philip died "gently" as if "somebody took him by the hand".

"You know it's going to happen, but when it happens it's just this massive, massive hole," she said.

"It was so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.

"Very, very peaceful – and that's all you want with somebody isn't it?

"I think it's so much easier for the person that goes than the people left behind.

"We're all sitting here looking at each other going, 'This is awful'."

She said the Queen was "thinking of others before herself".

On the same afternoon, Edward – who is 12th in line to the throne – told reporters: "It's a bit of a shock.

"However much one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it's still dreadful shock, and we're trying to come to terms with that.

"It's very, very sad."

However, he thanked Brits for their "extraordinary tributes" and the memories people have shared with the family.

That Sophie appears to be leading the family’s public response is no shock to those in the royal inner circle.

One courtier said: “If you’re asking who is Her Majesty’s favourite child, it’s none of them.

"It’s her daughter-in-law.

"Edward happened to marry someone for whom his mother has great affection.

"Sophie is much more than a daughter-in-law, more of a daughter.”

The Queen admires the way Sophie turned her life around after early mishaps.

She created a “royals for hire” storm and insisted on still working in public relations when she was newly married to Edward.

In 2012 she was criticised for accepting jewels from Bahrain’s royal family.

Yet now Sophie is viewed by the Queen as the Royal Family’s safest pair of hands, and has been a "tremendous comfort" in recent days.

And Sophie – along with the monarch's page and dressmaker – are very much in the royal inner circle.

Other members of the family are also strongly supporting the Queen, including Charles, Anne and Andrew.

The Duke of York said his mother had a "huge void in her life".

"We the family – the ones that are closer – are rallying round to make sure we're there," he said.

He added Brits have lost the "grandfather of the nation", and said his mother "is feeling it probably more than anyone else".

Elsewhere, Kate Middleton has been praised for helping Harry and William chat after the funeral.

The Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter told Good Morning Britain: "The ice was broken by the Duchess of Cambridge.

"Harry went to speak to her and she kind of stepped sideways to allow the two brothers to talk together."

The Duchess has been hailed as a 'peacemaker' for her role in bringing the brothers back together – with William's official biographer calling her a "rock" for the royals.

Brian Hoey said: “They say cometh the hour, cometh the man. But in the Royal Family’s case, it’s a woman.

“Thank God for Kate — she is the rock the monarchy will depend on. On Saturday, she behaved absolutely impeccably.”

William and Harry spoke for two hours after the funeral, and it's now believed Harry could stay for the Queen's birthday on Wednesday.

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