HRH Prince Philip – his funeral a moving and fitting tribute

by Deborah Cater
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WINDSOR – The funeral of Prince Philip celebrated his “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen, service to the nation and “courage”.

More than 730 members of the armed forces took part in the event. Held at 3pm BST under a clear blue sky, it was a ceremonial rather than state funeral.  Prince Philip died last Friday, April 9th.

Prince Philip’s association with the Royal Navy was a focus of the ceremony held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.

In line with Covid regulations, only 30 guests attended the funeral.

The Guests

The 30 guests included Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who arrived in the State Bentley accompanied by a lady-in-waiting. Walking behind the coffin were the Queen’s and Prince Philip’s four children – Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Princes William and Harry, Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and Princess Margaret’s son the Earl of Snowdon followed.

Also in attendance were Philip’s other grandchildren: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, and Zara Tindall. They were accompanied by their spouses where appropriate.

The rest of the guest list was: the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Prince Bernhard of Baden, Prince Donatus Landgrave of Hesse, Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto.

Ahead of the ceremony, Prince Phillipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg said, “It really is an incredible honour and we are all extremely touched and privileged to be included on behalf of the wider family.”

Funeral Procession

St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

The band of the Grenadier Guards led the procession to St George’s Chapel, followed by the Major General’s party and military chiefs of staff. These included the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Carter, and First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin.

Admiral Radakin paid tribute to the duke’s naval career before the funeral, saying “He was one of us.”

The modified Land Rover bearing the coffin, which Prince Philip helped design, followed. An escort of Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, a personal protection officer, two pages and two valets accompanied the vehicle. Brigadier Bakewell was Prince Philip’s private secretary for more than a decade.  

The members of the Royal Family in the procession followed, with the Queen at the rear in a car.

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The Service

The service was beautiful in its simplicity with a focus on nature, which Prince Philip championed in life.

The Dean of Windsor conducted the service with the Archbishop of Canterbury pronouncing the blessing. The Dean paid tribute to the Duke’s “kindness, humour and humanity” and 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.”

There was no sermon in line with the Prince’s wishes.

The music included the 1860 hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save, by William Whiting. The hymn refers to seafarers and the maritime armed services. The selection of music was the Prince’s own and reflected his joy of life and life of service.

A Prince, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle admired by many

On hearing the news of Prince Philip’s death, the Spanish King and Queen sent a personal telegram to the Queen.

Their Royal Majesties and HRH Prince Philip

Dear Aunt Lilibet,

We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of dear Uncle Philip. Filled with sorrow and sense of loss, we would like to send you our most heartfelt condolences on behalf of the government and people of Spain, and all our sympathy and support. We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him and the legacy of service and dedication to the crown and the United Kingdom by your side.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family.

With all our love and affection,

Felipe Letizia

Prince Philip's funeral. A chance to look back. The Prince with great-granddaughter Mia Tindall

Mike Tindall, husband of Prince Philip’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on Instagram. He described him as a “devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love”. The picture, taken by the Duchess of Cambridge, shows the Prince with his great-granddaughter Mia Tindall.

Photo by Countess of Wessex of the Queen and Prince Philip

The Queen and Prince Philip. Photo by Countess of Wessex

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021

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