Duke of Edinburgh
’s life was remembered during a funeral service reflecting his naval career, passion for engineering and dedication to the
During the event on Saturday,
attended by the Queen
and his children and grandchildren, the duke was described as enriching the lives of all those he knew with his “kindness, humour and humanity”.
The day was one of contrasts, a spectacle of pomp and pageantry provided by the many regiments and military units associated with Philip during his long association with the Armed Forces who took part.
There were also simple touches, including his polished dark green four-wheeled carriage being 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 his wife the Queen of 73 years.
Hundreds congregated outside Windsor Castle to pay their respects
Hundreds defied “stay away” orders – given as a result of the pandemic – as they congregated outside Windsor Castle to pay their respects to Philip as he was laid to rest at St George’s Chapel in the castle grounds.
Thames Valley Police had warned people to stay away, and only a few were present in the town during the morning.
However, as the day went on, hundreds arrived in the sunshine to pay tribute, wearing Philip-themed clothing, waving Union flags and holding flowers.
A minute’s silence was held at 3pm
At 3pm, people across the UK observed a national minute’s silence for the duke in unison with mourners at his funeral.
During the silence, only the soft sound of birdsong could be heard in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
SILENCE FOLLOWED BY PROTEST
A topless protester ran in front of a crowd near Windsor Castle following the minute’s silence for the Duke of Edinburgh
A topless protester ran in front of a crowd near Windsor Castle following the minute’s silence for the Duke of Edinburgh.
The woman ran onto the road shouting “save the planet” after the crowd began clapping following the silence.
She jumped onto a statue of Queen Victoria before police officers removed her from the scene on Castle Hill.
AN EMPTY CHAPEL
The coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
The scene was set for the Duke of Edinburgh’s nearest and dearest to gather together – in a socially distanced manner and wearing face masks – for what was a unique royal occasion.
The nave, which was packed with family and friends at three royal weddings in recent years, was empty except for the four choristers and their musical director, and the coffin procession.
There were no rows of pews packed with mourners, but instead the sparse floor lay bare, allowing for the handful of singers and musicians to carry out their roles in a socially distanced manner.
The duke’s coffin was decorated with his Admiral of the Fleet Naval Cap and sword, and carried by Royal Marines up the steps of the chapel
The duke’s coffin was decorated with his Admiral of the Fleet Naval Cap and sword, and carried by Royal Marines up the steps of the chapel.
The slow crunch of gravel could be heard underfoot as eight Grenadier Guards stepped cautiously forward in unison, mastering the unenviable task of moving the duke’s coffin on to his Land Rover hearse.
The coffin was draped in Philip’s 12ft personal standard – with blue lions and red hearts on a yellow background representing Denmark and the arms of the City of Edinburgh among the four quarters.
It was adorned by a wreath of white, spring flowers selected by the Queen, with a handwritten private message, and the duke’s Admiral of the Fleet naval cap and sword.
LAND ROVER HEARSE
The polished green Land Rover TD5 130 ferried the duke’s coffin
Gleaming in the sunshine, the polished green Land Rover TD5 130 ferried the duke’s coffin slowly to the west steps of St George’s Chapel.
It was modified to the duke’s own plans in a project that spanned 16 years and which he finally finished in the year he turned 98.
It served as a testament to his love of design, engineering and all things practical.
Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, William, Peter Phillips, Harry, Earl of Snowdon and Tim Laurence follow the coffin in a ceremonial procession
Beethoven’s dramatic funeral marches, peppered with booming gun salutes and the tolling of the Curfew Tower Bell, formed the soundtrack to the coffin procession, as military chiefs, royals and five members of the duke’s loyal household marched forward to the solemn beat of the drums.
In step behind were Philip’s children – the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex – followed by the duke’s grandsons the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Cambridge and Peter Phillips, the Princess Royal’s husband Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, and the Queen’s nephew the Earl of Snowdon.
Philip always walked two steps behind his wife on official engagements, but on Saturday the monarch followed her husband for perhaps the first and only time as she joined the rear of the procession by car for part of the way.
BROTHERS IN ARMS
Prince Harry and Prince William walk behind their grandfather’s coffin
William and Harry, whose rift has been well documented, were initially separated by their older cousin Peter Phillips as they walked behind their grandfather’s coffin, with the grieving royals freshly wounded by the Sussexes’
and the ramifications of Megxit.
They then sat opposite one another in St George’s Chapel.
Afterwards, the pair could be seen chatting together. William paused briefly to walk in step with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and his younger brother, as the mourners made their way out of St George’s Chapel in the spring sunshine.
William and Harry could be seen talking to one another after the service
Though still wearing his face mask, Harry appeared to smile briefly in the direction of Kate, his sister-in-law, as the three strolled together, away from the rest of the family.
Moments later the brothers walked together, alone, with Kate in conversation with Zara Tindall, William and Harry’s cousin.
It was the first time the brothers had been seen in public together since Harry stood down from royal duties.
THE SOLO QUEEN
The Queen was pictured sitting alone
Symbolic of her loss, the Queen sat on her own, separated from her family in the age of a pandemic, as she bid farewell to Philip.
Even when other family members arrived, coronavirus rules dictated the space next to the monarch – usually occupied by Philip – must remain empty, and the one next to it also. Closest, two seats to her left, was the Duke of York – the Queen and Philip’s third child.
Prince Andrew during the funeral
The Duke of York cut a solitary figure at his father’s funeral as he made his first official royal appearance since stepping back from his duties in 2019 after a bombshell interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Most of the other royals sat in their family groups dotted at a safe social distance throughout St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Although Andrew’s two daughters were present, he sat apart from them in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines as they do not share a household. He was however seated closest to the Queen, who also sat alone throughout the ceremony. Andrew has often been described as her favourite son.
At one point, an emotional-looking duke could be seen pulling his mask down with his eyes cast downwards.
Sailors and Royal Marines were part of the 750-strong military presence paying their respects to Philip in the grounds of Windsor Castle
The Duke of Edinburgh’s love of the sea and lifelong association with the Royal Navy featured in his funeral at St George’s Chapel, in hymns, prayers and music.
Sailors and Royal Marines were part of the 750-strong military presence paying their respects to Philip in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
In the lead-up to the funeral service, detachments drawn from units which had a link with Philip were positioned on the grass in the Quadrangle, which was bathed in spring sunshine on Saturday.
The service was peppered with naval imagery, including in a prayer by the Dean of Windsor, who conducted the service.
The buglers asounded the Last Post to signify “a soldier has gone to his final rest”
At the end of the service, the buglers of the Royal Marines sounded Action Stations, which is played on a warship to signal all hands should go to battle stations and is sometimes featured at funerals of naval men.
The buglers also sounded the Last Post to signify “a soldier has gone to his final rest”.
Leading the buglers was Sergeant Jamie Ritchie from Dundee, who performed on several occasions for the duke during his time as Captain General Royal Marines, a ceremonial title he held for more than six decades.
The duke also presented 31-year-old Sergeant Ritchie with his medal for service in Afghanistan.
Philip joined the Navy after leaving school and in May 1939 enrolled at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, where he rose rapidly through the ranks.
His naval career came to an end in 1951 when he stepped down from his active role in the forces to fulfil his duty as the Queen’s consort when she acceded to the throne the following year.
Fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm pulling the Duke of Edinburgh's driving carriage
A small red container placed upon the seat of his driving carriage served as a poignant reminder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s love of equine.
The item was one of four personal effects carefully selected to accompany the four-wheeled carriage, which was pulled by Fell ponies Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm, into the quadrangle ahead of Saturday afternoon’s funeral service.
The red pot itself was actually used to store sugar lumps which Philip would give his ponies after carriage-driving.
The container was delicately placed next to his cap, whip and brown gloves, and served as a visual reminder of the late duke’s carriage-driving.
The polished dark green vehicle was Philip’s most recent carriage, which he began using at the age of 91 for riding around Windsor and other royal estates.