Queen Elizabeth Rarely Cries in Public, But 1 Clue Proves She Could Break Down at Prince Philip’s Funeral

There’s nothing more quintessentially British than a stiff upper lip. This popular phrase refers to the tendency to hide emotions rather than express them, especially in public. No one is better at following this rule than Queen Elizabeth herself.

Her Majesty has been seen crying, laughing, and looking positively furious in photos and videos. But these instances are few and far between. Overall, U.K. citizens marvel at how the queen is both friendly yet private, and visible yet unknowable. Few people know Elizabeth’s feelings intimately.

This conversation came up all over again in the days leading up to Prince Philip’s funeral. Will Queen Elizabeth openly break down while laying to rest her husband of 74 years? Or will she maintain composure?

Queen Elizabeth doesn’t often cry in public, but sometimes she does

ueen Elizabeth II attends the annual Remembrance Sunday service
Queen Elizabeth | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

There are a few examples of the queen crying out in the open during events. What makes these situations memorable is how they don’t happen often. Over the decades, the queen has done a fantastic job maintaining composure even on the saddest days.

Queen Elizabeth has cried at funerals before, including when her sister Margaret died. But she’s also been seen publicly expressing emotion at other less personal events. For example, there are many shots of Her Majesty dabbing her eyes at the annual Remembrance Sunday service in November 2019. This event commemorated the armistice between the Allies and the Germans after World War I.

She also got a little misty eyed in 2002 during the Parade for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty’s Body Guards and Royal Companies when her favorite general marched by on his way to retirement.

The queen has every reason to show emotion at Prince Philip’s funeral

Queen Elizabeth wiping at tear at the decommissioning of Brittania
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince Philip | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

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If Queen Elizabeth can cry over historic world events and people’s retirements, then it’s perfectly logical to expect she’d shed tears for the death of her beloved husband.

The queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wed in 1947 and though they experienced plenty of ups and downs in their relationship, they remained committed until the very end. Their union is considered a shining example of what a long, successful marriage looks like.

Philip was 99 years old and in failing health when he died on April 9, 2021. Though it wasn’t surprising, his death affected the entire nation and kicked off a period of mourning across the country.

Prince Philip’s funeral will be a private event

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II departs the Ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral
Queen Elizabeth | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Due to the global pandemic, the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral services will be limited to just 30 close friends and family members only. Prince Harry will travel back to London from the United States for the services. Other senior royals will also attend the funeral events, which are scheduled for Saturday, April 17.

A formal procession preceding the funeral will be televised worldwide. Prince Charles and some others will walk in the procession but it’s unclear how the queen will be involved. If there’s any place for Queen Elizabeth to get caught crying on camera, it’s during this procession of her husband’s body.

There’s a good chance she could maintain her somber stance without shedding a tear. But based on her reaction to her sister’s funeral plus her willingness to cry at lesser events, it wouldn’t be too shocking if Her Majesty openly shed tears for Prince Philip, the love of her life.