Despite the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing on April 9, business at Buckingham Palace continues on. For some royal family supporters, it might be difficult to process that Queen Elizabeth II will now deliver many official statements alone rather than together with her late husband. However, such is the case, and the Queen’s first solo statement after Prince Philip’s death is heartbreaking.
On Wednesday, April 14, Elizabeth — who’s currently at Windsor Castle in anticipation of the Duke’s upcoming April 17 memorial service — wrote a statement addressing the disastrous volcanic eruptions currently devastating the Caribbean islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Commonwealth nation.
“I have been saddened by the destruction and major disruption caused by volcanic eruptions in recent days, and my thoughts are with the many people and families who have been evacuated from their homes, and whose livelihoods have been affected,” the Queen said in the statement. "I send my thanks to the emergency services and all those involved in the relief effort. My prayers will remain with the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines at this very difficult time."
As the head of state in the UK, the Queen also holds the title of Head of the Commonwealth — so it makes sense that she’s expressing appreciation for those invested in relief efforts. As of April 12, more than 3,700 people are in 84 government shelters due to the eruptions, according to the Associated Press.
It is unfortunate that the Queen’s first statement was prompted by such a tragic current event. Even though this statement was made without Philip, true love never dies, and the pair’s 73-year-old love story won't be forgotten.