Prince Philip: Royal family says farewell to the Duke of Edinburgh
During the military funeral, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip’s wife of 73 years, sat by herself during the proceedings.
staff video, USA TODAY
A week after his death, Prince Philip was laid to rest Saturday with a funeral fit for a royal, but within the confines of Britain’s COVID-19 pandemic rules and in the “no fuss” manner the Duke of Edinburgh requested.
After a funeral procession moved Prince Philip’s coffin from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel in a customized Land Rover he helped design, members of the royal family made their way inside for the service for Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of 73 years, who died April 9 at age 99.
The queen accompanied by a lady-in waiting, wore a mask and rode in a state Bentley at the rear of the procession and sat alone at St. George’s Chapel for the duration of the funeral.
Did Queen Elizabeth cry at Prince Philip’s funeral? How she manages to stay stoic
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, sat opposite the monarch alongside his wife Camilla. Prince Andrew was closest to the queen, at two seats to her left.
Prince William and his wife Kate sat directly opposite Prince Harry, who traveled back to his home country from the U.S. without his pregnant wife Meghan who has been advised by her doctor not to make the long journey, the Associated Press reports.
Officials said the flowers chosen for the service were low-key, reflective of Philip’s no-fuss attitude. The queen chose white lilies, small roses, freesia and other blossoms in the wreath on Philip’s coffin.
Royal reunion: Prince William and Harry leave Prince Philip’s funeral shoulder to shoulder
Royal family arrives at St. George’s Chapel
Due to pandemic restrictions, only the royal members of the family were allowed in the chapel for the service. In attendance were the queen, Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, his sons, Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry Duke of Sussex, Charles’ and William’s duchess wives, Camilla and Kate, as well as Philip’s three other children, Princess Anne the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew Duke of York, and Prince Edward Earl of Wessex. Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, and Sophie Countess of Wessex are also in attendance.
Other royals who are in family bubbles sat together.
Here’s why: Prince Philip laid to rest in Royal Vault but it’s not his final destination
The service began with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby entering the chapel ahead of the coffin, followed by Philip’s children and three of his eight grandchildren, as a four-member choir sang “I am the resurrection and the life.”
His other grandchildren in attendance were Anne’s children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall; Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie and their husbands; and Edward’s children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James Viscount Severn.
Though still elaborate, the duke’s final sendoff, which he helped devise, was much reduced from the usual ceremonial funeral (like the Queen Mother’s in 2002 and Princess Diana’s in 1997) as a result COVID-19.
Prince Philip has been interred in the Royal Vault at St. George’s Chapel alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including three kings of England. But it will likely not be his permanent resting place.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, she and Philip are expected to be buried in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle. Philip died on April 9 at age 99.
Princes Charles, Harry and William follow funeral procession
Hundreds of troops marched into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the royal ceremonial funeral.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was placed on a customized Land Rover he helped design and is moving from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel as his children and grandchildren walked behind in formation: Prince Charles and his sister Princess Anne together, then Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, Prince William and Prince Harry, separated by their older cousin Peter Phillips, Vice Admiral Tim Lawrence and the Earl of Snowdon, and members of the duke’s staff will bring up the rear of the procession behind the coffin.
Why did Prince Philip’s Land Rover carry his casket? The story behind the strange hearse
Princes Harry and William’s separation by their cousin minimized the chances of any awkward moments between the brothers, who have faced strains in their relationship since Harry’s decision to step away from royal duties last year.
All of the family members taking part in the funeral procession for Prince Philip wore civilian clothes, not military uniforms, in accordance with the wishes of Queen Elizabeth II. This was meant to make things less awkward for Harry and Andrew, both of whom actively served in British forces (Harry in Afghanistan, Andrew in the Falklands) but lost their roles after stepping back from royal duties in recent years.
The half-mile route was lined by military personnel from all services, guns fired from the East Lawn every minute throughout and a bell tolled in one of the towers at the west end of the castle.
More than 700 servicemen and servicewomen from the army, navy, air force and marines performed ceremonial roles in the funeral procession, reflecting Philip’s Royal Navy service and ties with the military.
They included soldiers of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who fired a gun salute, Guards regiments in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats, Highlanders in kilts and sailors in white naval hats.
After a national minute of silence, Philip’s coffin was met by the Dean of Windsor, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel and the Royal Navy pipers played “Carry On” as the coffin enters and the doors close behind.
Tributes pour in
Social media tributes from members of the royal family poured in Saturday.
The official Instagram page of the royal family shared a video montage of the late duke’s life with “words by the Poet Laureate.”
The Kensington Palace Instagram page, which belongs to Prince William and Duchess Kate, shared photos from the funeral ceremony.
“The Duke of Edinburgh was a devoted consort to Her Majesty The Queen for nearly 70 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death,” the caption read. “Today’s ceremony was a reflection of The Duke’s military affiliations and personal elements of His Royal Highness’s life.”
Though Buckingham Palace advised the public to pay their respects from a distance due to the pandemic, crowds gathered outside the walls of Windsor castle to give their final farewell to the duke.
Road signs in the area warned: “Avoid all non-essential travel and do not gather at royal residences,” though some visited briefly to lay tributes to the duke.
Sasha Spicer, 52, who wore a Union flag poncho, said Philip had been a “fantastic role model” and that she felt sorry for the Queen.
“I’ve come down to pay my respects, say rest in peace and thanks for service to the country and that we’ll miss you,” she told the PA news agency, a U.K. wire service.
“He was a lovely fella.”
Ms Spicer said she was “impressed” by the crowds who had come to the town on the day of the funeral.
Windsor resident Ian Mawhinney, 56, said that it had been a “sombre few weeks” in the town but that the royal family were “setting an example” by limiting numbers.
“I think it’s really important to mark the event. It’s been a very sombre time for the town,” he told PA.
“Living in Windsor, you realize how much they do for the community and the country.”
Professor Chris Imafidon, from Essex, who says he met Phillip on several occasions, said: “He has done so much for this country, there should be a big public celebration of his life.
“People have been asked not to come, so I think it will be a quiet atmosphere, I just feel so sad.”
Prince Philip’s death: Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99
Rare photo: See Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II pose with great-grandchildren
Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY; The Associated Press and Newsquest