Loyal lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, 81, rode with Queen in State Bentley to Prince Philip's funeral

THE Queen's loyal lady-in-waiting rode with the monarch in the State Bentley to Prince Philip's funeral.

Lady Susan Hussey, 81, has a strong bond with Queen Elizabeth II, having served her for decades.

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Today, she accompanied the Queen in the State Bentley as she left the castle to join the rear of the procession carrying Philip's coffin to St George's Chapel.

Lady Susan entered the chapel but was there as a working household member – not one of the 30 guests – so she did not seat with the Windsors in the Quire or in the Nave.

She remained nearby to be ready to help in case the Queen needed her.

The grieving Queen today sat alone as she said a final farewell to her beloved husband of 73 years on her "saddest and most difficult day".

Her Majesty, who wore all black and a face mask for the occasion, appeared sorrowful and deep in thought as she entered St George's Chapel, Windsor.

One powerful image showed the sombre royal sat alone in the vast chapel as she said her final goodbyes to her loyal husband, 99, who died on April 9.

The Queen had made her way to the front of the chapel alone – after Covid rules meant guests had to socially-distance and sit two-metres apart.

In highly-emotional scenes, she bowed her head respectfully as Prince Philip's coffin was carried by pallbearers to be placed in front of her pew.

During the past year, Lady Susan joined the Queen and Prince Philip in the so-called HMS Bubble.

She was one of about 20 staff members who cared for the royal couple during the coronavirus lockdown at Windsor Castle.

In 2001, Lady Susan passed the Queen a pound coin so she could buy The Big Issue from a magazine seller while on an official day trip to Brighton.

She has also been present at unique moments in history – such as on the Spirit of Chartwell barge with the Queen and other members of the royal family for the Diamond Jubilee river pageant on the Thames in 2012.

Ladies-in-waiting are the unsung members of the Queen's household and are personally chosen by the monarch.

They have a variety of duties including attending to private and personal matters for the Queen and handling her correspondence.

They also assist the Queen on official engagements, from handing her money to being passed the bouquets of flowers presented to her.

Ladies-in-waiting often serve the Queen for more than 50 years and act as both friends and loyal assistants, and their discretion and support will be invaluable as the Queen mourns.

The late Marmaduke Hussey, who died in 2006, was BBC chairman when Diana, Princess of Wales gave her 1995 Panorama interview but, in accordance with tradition, he was not given a preview.

"Duke" Hussey was a leading newspaper industry executive for decades, taking the prestigious BBC post when he retired from News International.

Lady Susan is also a sister of the former Tory Cabinet minister William Waldegrave.

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