Queen Elizabeth stands alone as her strength Philip is laid to rest
On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth bid farewell to Prince Philip at a funeral that honoured his seven decades of service and enabled grandsons William and Harry to speak in public for the first time after racism allegations rocked the family.
Elizabeth remained apart, head bent, while her spouse of 73 years was lowered into the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel in a service witnessed by senior royals, including heir Prince Charles, clad in black and wearing a white trimmed black face mask.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Prince Harry walked and spoke with his brother William and wife Kate, the first time they have spoken in public since Harry and his wife Meghan gave an intense interview to Oprah Winfrey last month.
This crisis occurred when Philip was in the hospital. Philip, also identified as the Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9 at the age of 99.
“We have been motivated by his unwavering devotion to our Queen, service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, bravery, fortitude, and faith,” said Dean of Windsor David Conner.
Philip, who married Elizabeth in 1947, assisted the young king in adapting the kingdom to the transforming circumstances of the post-World War II period, when the fall of empire and the collapse in deference tested the world’s most influential royal family.
Over their decades of marriage, the queen portrayed Philip as her “power and remain” in 1997. She has reigned for 69 years and is now 94 years old.
As a minute gun fired eight times, her husband’s coffin was carried to the chapel on a bespoke Land Rover Defender TD 130 in military green that Philip himself helped build.
Philip’s children and grandchildren trailed behind on foot, recalling Diana’s funeral in 1997, when William and Harry, respectively 15 and 12, stepped behind their mother’s coffin.
His naval cap and sword were placed on top of the coffin, which was draped in the Duke of Edinburgh’s personal standard, which included the Danish coat of arms, the Greek cross, Edinburgh Castle, and the Mountbatten family stripes.
The coffin was also decorated with a wreath of white flowers, lilies, and jasmine from the queen.
Because of ongoing coronavirus prohibitions in the United Kingdom, there were just 30 mourners inside the church. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, including millions of Britons, observed a minute’s silence when the service started at 3 p.m. (1400 GMT).
Before the procession, military bands played the prince’s chosen songs, including “I Vow To Thee My Nation,” “Jerusalem,” and “Nimrod,” around the quadrangle of Windsor Castle in bright sunlight.
WILLIAM AND HARRY
“Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” a sailors’ hymn, was sung by the four-person choir. The Russian “Kontakion of the Departed,” a hymn of the Orthodox and Eastern churches, echoed throughout the ancient church just before the coffin was sunk into the Royal Vault.
There were no eulogies, only short words of appreciation from the dean of Windsor and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in their prayers for the prince.
Elizabeth has been widowed at a time when the royal family is dealing with one of the most serious scandals in decades: accusations of bigotry and neglect by Harry and Meghan, his American-born bride.
In last month’s interview, the pair, who retired from royal duties and relocated to California last year, laid open their views of the family’s attitudes in what amounted to a rebuke of an ancient institution’s old-fashioned rituals.
They suspected one unidentified royal of making a derogatory remark, and they said Meghan’s cries for support while she was suicidal were dismissed.
Meghan claimed that “the Firm” had silenced her, while Harry claimed that his boss, Charles, had declined to take his calls. Both Charles and his brother William, according to Harry, became stuck in the royal household.
Meghan, who is pregnant and was warned by her psychiatrist not to fly, sat in on the funeral in California, according to a person acquainted with the case.
When the service came to a close, buglers from the Royal Marines played the “Last Post” and then “Action Stations” to commemorate the late duke’s World War II naval service, before the choir sung the national anthem.
If Elizabeth drove to the castle’s quarters, the other royals chose to move up the hill to the main section of Windsor Castle.
While walking, William, his wife Kate, and Harry spoke. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, quickly moved back to encourage the brothers to continue their conversation. It was impossible to understand what they were doing.
The palace made it clear ahead of time that, although the event would include the usual pageantry associated with the death of a senior prince, it would also be a time for a bereaved family to commemorate the loss of a partner, parent, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Mourners did not wear military uniforms, as newspapers stated, in order to avoid humiliation for Harry, who, after completing two tours in Afghanistan during his army service, is not allowed to wear a uniform since he was deprived of his honorary military titles.
Prince Andrew, who stood down from public life in 2019 amid outrage about his “ill-judged” relationship with late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, had planned to carry an admiral’s uniform to the funeral, according to media reports.
Andrew stood in the front row, nearest to the queen.
Philip’s devotion to service won him strong support in the United Kingdom, but he was often chastised by others for a series of off-the-cuff racial or abrupt remarks that shocked kings, bishops, and presidents.
“He was authentically himself, with a seriously quick wit, and could keep the interest of every room due to his charisma as well as the fact that you never know what he would say next,” Harry said of his grandfather earlier this week.