All the Times Queen Elizabeth II Cried in Public – Now Thousands of People Bid 'Tearful' Farewell to Her Majesty
During her 70-year rule since ascending to the throne in 1952, the Queen has developed a steadfast and headstrong public persona and never cried in public. However, sometimes the emotions were too raw, and she would often break down. After her death, people are shedding tears in her memory.
Crowds began gathering outside the monarch's London residence shortly after the Palace announced that the Queen's physicists had placed her under "medical supervision."
The Queen's death on September 8, 2022, has brought about a lot of pain to the British public and the world at large. Shortly after her death announcement, tearful mourners joined the rest outside the Buckingham Palace gates to celebrate the life she lived and mourn her loss.
A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II displayed at the British Embassy in Paris on September 9, 2022, a day after the Queen died at the age of 96. | Source: Getty Images
Even as they cried and mourned the Queen the crowd broke into song, signaling their support for the new king, Charles III, and chanting the words: "God save the King."
While the British public could avail themselves at the Palace gates to mourn their Queen, many more, including Hollywood stars, shared their heartfelt tributes.
Legendary singer Diana Ross took to her social media to thank the Queen for her devotion and dedication to serving her country, while others such as Lisa Vanderpump, Barack and Michelle Obama, William Shatner, and Melinda Gates, also sent their condolences shortly after her passing remembering the monarch for her service.
Despite the Queen mastering the art of never showing emotions in public, the public is sure, not shy about showing their love or mourning her loss.
The Queen Always Hid Her Emotions
After years of building a stoic reputation, from dealing with the triumphs and tragedies as the United Kingdom's head of State, many never perceived her as one to weep in public.
However, royal historians say that is not the case. The widespread impression that she does not cry stems from being on the throne so long and consecutively, mastering the art of hiding her feelings whenever necessary.
Queen Elizabeth II attends the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Growing up, the Queen, a princess at the time, was trained very deliberately not to show her feelings in public. Sally Bedell Smith, the American biographer of the Queen, explained that even during events, the Queen would watch but never applaud.
According to Smith, the theory is that if the Queen did express any reaction, people would perceive it as favoring one group over the other. She, therefore, perfected the neutral look over the years, partially because of how she was raised. She says:
"She is a woman of deep feeling, but she works very hard to present an impassive face."
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves a thanksgiving service in memory of the late Queen Mother and Princess Margaret at St George's Chapel in Windsor on March 30, 2012 | Source: Getty Images
Longtime royal commentator Victoria Arbiter says that the Queen often received criticism for not showing emotions, with many interpreting the "stony" face as a sign of being uncaring. On the flip side, she would still receive criticism whenever she showed emotions, so she decided her safest option was never to react.
That said, emotions would get the better of her every once in a while, and she would break down. Although incredibly infrequently, the Queen has cried in public, but often at appropriate times. Smith adds:
"There have been more times she's been in tears than people recognize or choose to remember."
Queen Elizabeth ll attends the funeral of Margaret Thatcher at St. Paul's Cathedral on April 17, 2013 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Smith chronicled several incidents when the Queen showed raw emotion to the public, including during the retirement of her favorite royal yacht, the Britannia. She also cried publicly during her sister Princess Margaret's funeral in 2002 and again when she visited the survivors of a horrifying avalanche of coal waste in Aberfan, Wales.
The Queen always cried on Remembrance Sunday every November. During the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in 2002, a ceremony held in memory of Britain's war heroes, the Queen broke down during a moment of silence as she planted a wooden cross in remembrance.
The monarch, dressed in somber black, also broke down during the 2019 Remembrance ceremony at Cenotaph as she watched then-Prince Charles place flowers on the Whitehall memorial.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a Service of Thanksgiving for Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in central London on March 29, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Another incident the Queen cried was the 2012 service for fallen soldiers of Duke Lancaster regiment. As the colonel-in-chief of the unit, also named after her, she had a deep personal attachment, and she could not hold back her tears as she returned to her seat after unveiling a statue in memory of its fallen members.
In 2020, the Queen, once again, showed emotion during her husband, Prince Philip's funeral, even though only her family was present to see it. Those watching the televised service did not see her as she was in a face mask, and because the cameras kept a safe distance.
Times the Queen has Broken Her Own Rules
While crying in public is not a rule in itself, the Queen, who's known to be adamant about people following rules has also been known to go against her protocol on numerous occasions.
Queen Elizabeth II during the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at The Cenotaph on November 12, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
One royal protocol is never to touch a royal. Whenever one meets the Queen or other royals, the rule is to bow or curtsy. However, when Michelle Obama and the Queen met in 2009, the former First Lady wrapped her arm around the monarch. To the dismay of many, the Queen reciprocated the gesture by placing her arm around Michelle.
In 1936, when the Queen Mother became Queen Consort, she adopted the "never complain, never explain" rule, a protocol the Queen has followed keenly since taking over the throne.
However, when addressing the intense scrutiny Prince Harry and Meghan Markle faced from the press, she broke protocol when she addressed the issue in a rare statement.
Queen Elizabeth II attends the funeral of Patricia Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge on June 27, 2017 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
During the royal family's Remembrance service every November, the royal members stand together, in order of rank, a protocol that has been in place for decades. However, in 2020, the Queen chose to stand on a different balcony from the Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall.
Her decision to stand away from the two future queen consorts may be more of a health measure than it was a breach of protocol. The three royals reportedly stood away from each other due to social distancing protocols.