Queen ‘leaning on devoted inner circle’ through royal crisis and tragic death

The Queen has been leaning on a devoted "inner circle" made up of close pals, royal family members, and loyal staff who work for her, according to reports.

Her Majesty has seen heartbreak this year, after losing her husband of 70 years, Prince Philip, in April aged 99.

She also suffered more tragedy when she had to say goodbye to loyal pup Fergus, a dachshund-corgi mix, who passed away only weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

Fergus was one of two dogs gifted to her while Philip was in hospital.

The Queen had also lost another pooch, Vulcan, shortly before Christmas, a loyal companion, during lockdown.

However, despite the loss and reports of royal crisis over the past year following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle choosing to step down as senior members of the royal family, she has a devoted circle who are there to support her.

OK! reports family members, close friends, and loyal staff members have formed a network of support for Her Majesty whenever she needs company.

  • Queen allowed Kate Middleton 'rare privilege' on her first visits to Balmoral Castle

They have urged her to "pick up the phone" when she's looking for a friendly ear, it's been said.

Her children have also been there for her but in various ways. Prince Charles will now be at her side on more official engagements following Philip's death.

Whereas, Countess of Wessex, Sophie, has been become her 'rock'.

The 56-year-old, who calls the Queen 'Mama', has seen their relationship grow from strength to strength after the pair formed a newfound trust since the death of Sophie's mother Mary back in 2005.

It was only 48 hours after the Duke's death in spring when the Countess shared intimate details of his passing.

She said: "It was so gentle, like someone took him by the hand, and then he went.

"Very peaceful, which is what you want for somebody, isn't it?"

Susan Hussey, close friend to Queen Elizabeth II, has been her companion for 60 years and is part of the strong support network for the royal.

Baroness Hussey of North Bradley is believed to be her most trusted friend and lady-in-waiting.

The 82-year-old travelled with the Queen to Prince Philip's funeral at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

It's been a year like no other for the Queen from the loss of her husband to heartache over Prince Harry. But Her Majesty has also had a lot of cause for celebration, including the birth of baby Lilibet. To mark what a year the Queen has had, OK! Magazine is bringing you a limited edition collector's issue. Get your hands on it here.

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