Prince Philip funeral
Written by Gavin on 17th April 2021
Prince Philip has been laid to rest at an intimate funeral in Windsor, as the Queen said goodbye to her husband of 73 years.
Dressed in black and with a face mask, the Queen sat alone due to coronavirus restrictions.
A small group of Philip’s close family and friends attended the televised funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, which began with a national minute’s silence at 3pm.
Philip’s coffin was carried on a custom-built Land Rover Defender hearse designed by the duke and modified over 16 years.
It was followed for part of its final journey by the Queen, who travelled in a Bentley with Lady Susan Hussey, her trusted lady-in-waiting.
Walking behind the coffin, in morning suits and day dresses but not uniform, were Philip’s eldest children the Prince of Wales and Princess Royal, followed by their siblings the Earl of Wessex and Duke of York.
In the third row was the Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge but between the two royal brothers – their troubled relationship well documented – was their cousin Peter Phillips.
Watching as the coffin passed were royal mourners including the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Wessex and her children Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor.
Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank were also in attendance.
During the poignant event, the duke was described as enriching the lives of all those he knew with his “kindness, humour and humanity”.
There were simple touches that reflected the man, his polished dark green four-wheeled carriage was parked so it was passed by the funeral procession – his cap, whip and brown gloves lay neatly on a folded blanket.
And the wreath of white blooms, including roses and lilies chosen by the Queen, placed on top of his coffin included a handwritten card, edged in black, from the Queen.
The duke has been interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel.
Although members of the public were urged not to gather in Windsor for the funeral, some visited the town, bathed in bright spring sunshine, to pay their respects and leave flowers at the castle gates.
On the eve of the funeral, a touching photograph was released of the Queen and duke giving a glimpse of their lives away from protocol.
The royal couple are pictured as they are rarely seen – relaxing together during a summer break and enjoying the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands on the Balmoral estate.
The congregation at Philip’s funeral was limited to just 30 people due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Although there was no sermon – as per the duke’s request – the service was a highly religious one.
Several hymns were sung by a small chorus of three choristers and a soprano, and Bible passages were read out.
Among the songs picked out was the hymn Eternal Father, Strong To Save, traditionally associated with members of the navy like the Duke of Edinburgh.
It was also sung at the funeral of his beloved uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979.
No members of the Royal Family gave a reading, and attendees were also forbidden from singing.
In the Bidding, the Dean of Windsor said: “With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us.
“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.
“Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity.”
The order of service was similar to the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002.
Not having a lingering funeral was also in line with the duke’s wishes.