Queen made ‘secret pact’ with Prince Philip if one of them died before the other

The Queen and Prince Philip made a pact on how to cope when the other one died, a royal expert has revealed.

Princess Diana's friend Richard Kay said they had "often discussed" how they live on without each other.

Commenting on her majesty's "remarkable" good spirits at the G7 summit – just three months after the Duke of Edinburgh passed away aged 99 – he said: "The two had often discussed how each would cope without the other at their side, and it boiled down to this: whoever was left should mourn, but not for too long, then enjoy what remained of their life."

Writing in the Daily Mail, he noted how only 11 weeks have passed since she was pictured looking vulnerable sitting alone in her pew for her husband of 73 years' funeral at St George's Chapel.

He said it showed the monarch's "extraordinary reserves of resilience, matched to an unbending sense of duty" which has helped her since the death of her father when she was 25.

Yet her appearance at the G7 summit was still "remarkable" as she smiled and asked world leaders during a photoshoot: "Are you supposed to be enjoying yourselves?", the columnist wrote.

Mr Kay, who also praised how she shared "banter" with Boris Johnson about then Health Secretary Matt Hancock, said: "The subtext was clear: even if they weren't, she certainly was.

"And her observation went a long way to show that she had emerged from her period of mourning and was ready to participate fully in the affairs of the kingdom."

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He wrote: "The smiles we saw in Cornwall have been replicated on every public appearance since. From that intimate, scaled-down Trooping the Colour ceremony at Windsor Castle to finally making it on to the racetrack for the last day of Royal Ascot.

"Her passion for horse racing is no secret but the success of the Queen's breeding programme meant she had seven runners during Ascot Week and several winners elsewhere.

"'It has all helped to perk her up no end,' says a racing friend. 'She misses Prince Philip dreadfully but she was prepared for his passing. Caring deeply for someone whose health is in decline is always exhausting and I am sure it was no different for Her Majesty.'"

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Noting her public engagements with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, he added: "In three weeks she begins her first summer holiday in Scotland without Philip. It will start at Craigowan Lodge before she moves on to Balmoral Castle a fortnight later.

"More testing times lie ahead. At Christmas, for example, there will be no Philip at her side as she hands out presents to staff.

"Slowly and surely, much of the heavy lifting of monarchy is passing to others. But at 95, the Queen is proof that life can still provide a fresh adventure every day."

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