Queen Elizabeth II at Prince Philip's funeral
Funeral of Britain's Prince Philip in Windsor. Photo by: Reuters / POOL Reuters / POOL

Princess Anne called it a difficult moment looking at a photo of her mother Queen Elizabeth II sitting alone at Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021.

The Princess Royal discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic affected her family and in turn, the funeral service for her father who died on April 9, 2021, just one month shy of his 100th birthday.

When asked about the heartwrenching photo of Her Majesty sitting alone in the pews of St. George's Chapel due to social distancing measures, the princess told CBC chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault during an interview on CBS News: National, "In some ways, I'm glad we didn't see that moment. And when you see the photograph, it's much worse somehow."

She added, "And you saw more of that than we did, [since we were] accompanying the coffin."

In their conversation, Princess Anne also reflected on how the COVID-19 pandemic "stole a bit from [her] father in the final year of his life. She explained, "I suppose I tend to think it stole a bit from my father, who lost a lot of the people who would've gone to see him and talk to him and had those conversations that kept him interested. And he lost all of that."

The royal added, "I'm certain there are lots of families that would tell you the same thing — that, for the older generation, losing those contacts ... online didn't do it for everybody."

Prince Philip died peacefully in Windsor Castle following a couple of hospital stays due to his failing health. He was first admitted to King Edward VII's hospital in February 2021 for what was said at the time was a "precautionary measure."

The duke was later moved to St. Bartholomew's Hospital to receive treatment for what Buckingham Palace called an unknown infection and a heart condition. The Duke eventually returned home to Windsor Castle to be with his wife on March 16 after 28 days of hospital stay.

In an update to her book "The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser, and the Wardrobe," Queen Elizabeth II's former personal stylist Angela Kelly recalled how "no words were spoken" between herself and the late monarch following Prince Philip's funeral service. She shared that she helped the Queen take off her coat after which Her Majesty "walked to her sitting room, closed the door behind her, and she was alone with her own thoughts."

Kelly recalled that staff "stood to attention" as they watched Prince Philip's coffin being placed in the specially designed Land Rover that the late royal himself helped create. She wrote in an excerpt published by Hello! Magazine, "You could see the expression of sadness on everyone's faces to see such a great and well-respected man making his last journey. Their thoughts, I'm sure, were for The Queen, knowing she had lost a husband and a best friend. The nation shared the grief and their hearts went out to Her Majesty."

She added, "I'm sure some of the prayers that were offered were by those who had never prayed before. I think those prayers were offered to keep The Queen strong throughout the months to come when she would be without her husband."

Sadly, on Sept. 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died following growing concerns about her health and an overnight stay in the hospital. She died in her Scottish estate in Balmoral where she had taken to doing desk work instead of doing public engagements because of her declining health. She was laid to rest on Sept. 19. By order of succession, King Charles III became the new monarch following Her Majesty's death and he will be formally crowned this Saturday, May 6.