THE coronavirus pandemic was "staggeringly difficult" for the Queen and Prince Philip during lockdown in Windsor Castle, Prince Edward has revealed.
The Earl of Wessex, 57, and his wife Sophie, 56, opened up about how the Covid crisis impacted his parents when the world shut down and they were forced to isolate.
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"For them, life is so much about contact, it’s so much about people and then suddenly that all stops," Edward told The Telegraph Magazine.
Although the Queen's engagements keep her busy and it "doesn’t really give her very much time to dwell on anything for too long", he said the pandemic was "staggeringly difficult" for his parents.
The Queen, 95, was locked down at Windsor Castle with 22 members of staff in what a top aide dubbed "HMS Bubble", The Sun on Sunday revealed in April last year.
Unable to spend time with the Queen and the Duke during lockdown, the Wessexes had social distanced meetings with them in the castle grounds.
"We used to see them stand on the balcony, which was about 20 feet up in the air," Sophie explained.
"We’d see them waving. We’d shout at them and they’d shout back at us. It always seemed to be windy, so we could barely hear each other."
Edward and Sophie also spoke of how they are "flattered" to be taking on a more prominent role in the monarchy.
It comes as:
- Harry and Meghan Markle appear to have been snubbed by the Royals' website – after being moved below the Wessexes
- Edward and Sophie spoke of how they are "flattered" to be taking on a more prominent role in the family
- Sophie revealed the exact moment that "everything stopped" during the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral
- Prince Harry admitted he would "panic" if he bumped into the Queen in the hallways of Buckingham Palace in rediscovered footage
- Edward and Sophie joke about nephew Harry’s bombshell interview
And Sophie revealed how the Queen had been taking her mind off her grief by "keeping busy" following the death of Prince Philip back in April.
She also shared how her children Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, "still keep expecting to see grandpa arrive in his green Land Rover".
The Countess stressed that the Royal family had to step up now that the Queen is on her own.
She said: "The job is not something you can walk away from, it just carries on relentlessly.
"We’ve plodded along doing what we’re doing, hopefully doing it well. And then all of a sudden there’s a bit of a hiatus and things have changed a bit.
"Naturally, the media are looking for people to fill the so-called void."
She added: "If people want to pay more attention to what we’re doing, then great."
And Sophie said she had a "lengthy chat" with Prince Harry after Philip's funeral – insisting the two are "still family no matter what".
After Philip's funeral in April, Harry was seen talking with William and the Duchess of Cambridge as the group left the service.
A royal source said at the time: "It looked like a conciliatory move by William to wait for Harry and allow him to catch up and chat to him and Kate. That could be a significant moment.
"Harry appeared grateful for the opportunity, and Kate seemed to make a point of letting the brothers walk alone together, having briefly chatted to Harry as well."
Charles was also said to be "desperate for a reconciliation" – although William was reportedly deeply upset, even after meeting his brother face-to-face for the first time in a year.
We’ve plodded along doing what we’re doing, hopefully doing it well. And then all of a sudden there’s a bit of a hiatus and things have changed a bit."
And now Harry and Meghan Markle appear to have been snubbed by the Royals' website – after being moved below the Wessexes.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now appear underneath Edward and Sophie on the official royal site.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment, other than to say the website is regularly refreshed.
Edward and Sophie also joked about nephew Harry’s bombshell interview – quipping "Oprah who?"
The couple are said to have been reluctant to get involved in the ongoing drama between the Royal Family and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
When asked if they watched the CBS special by The Telegraph, the Earl and Countess of Wessex chuckled.
Sophie joked "what interview?" while Edward added "Oprah who?"
During the shocking interview, Harry and Meghan Markle accused a senior member of the Firm of being "racist" during an hour-long special with Oprah Winfrey in March.
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