Queen Elizabeth 'Ultimately Died of a Broken Heart' After Prince Philip's Death, Royal Expert Says (Exclusive)

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest next to her late husband on Monday.

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest next to her late husband, Prince Philip, Monday, and now, with her funeral complete, many are weighing in on the probable cause of Her Majesty's death. ET's Kevin Frazier spoke to royal expert, Katie Nicholl at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, where she said the Queen "ultimately died of a broken heart," just over a year after Prince Philip's passing in April 2021.

"That moment where the Queen's coffin was lowered down into the royal vault was very, very powerful. Very emotional," Nicholl said of the funeral's final moments. "The King found that very, very difficult to watch. But actually, what viewers may not realize, is the Queen had this all worked out, because in that same royal vault, currently lying, is the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin, and they will both be interned together in this private ceremony, which won't be televised, which will only be for immediate family."

She continued, "And it was her wish, that he waited for her in the royal vault. She said, 'Don't open up my father's vault,' which is where they will all end up together, because she knew she wouldn't be long after, and she wanted that final journey to be made with Phillip by her side."

The Queen's state funeral service concluded at Windsor Castle on Monday afternoon, after beginning the day in London and completing several church services and royal parades along the way. Both coffins of Elizabeth and Philip were then taken to King George VI's Memorial Chapel following the private ceremony.


While the Queen's official cause of death has not yet been released, Nicholl told ET that she believes the Queen was "never the same" after Philip's death, and that when Her Majesty died on Sept. 8, she was ready to be reunited with her late husband.

"I think she ultimately died of a broken heart, really," Nicholl said. "She was never the same after Philip went. They'd been together for 74 years. He was, she said, her strength and stay. He supported her in everything she did in life. I think it's fair to say that she wouldn't be the Queen that she was without the support of Philip, and I think something in her died when he went."

"She held on for as long as she could," she added. "She did her constitutional role. She swore in her new Prime Minister. She made sure she tidied everything up, and I think, in the end, she just wanted to be back with him, and I think that's why we saw that double rainbow over Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle."

In addition to Prince Philip, the queen is surrounded by other family members in King George VI's Memorial Chapel, including her father, King George VI, who died in 1952, and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who died in 2002, as well as her sister, Princess Margaret, who also died in 2002. Elizabeth and Philip's coffins were placed atop those of her departed family members. 

For more on Her Majesty's death, and Queen Elizabeth II's funeralcheck out ET's ongoing coverage.