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A Formal Farewell to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

A quick editorial note: there isn’t any fashion coverage in this post.  That will be done separately, either tomorrow or Monday. 

It was a bright, sunny day in Windsor for the funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Below, the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery arriving ahead of today’s service.

Across the UK and in many Commonwealth countries, flags were lowered. Below, Buckingham Palace.

Edinburgh Castle. 

Attendees and participants started arriving well ahead of the 3pm (local time) start of the service. Below, Zara and Mike Tindall.

Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and children Lady Louise, James Viscount Severn.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Another view of the Duchess. 

The Duchess of Cornwall. 

This group gathered outside the chapel to await the procession with Prince Philip’s coffin. 

Below, music just before events got underway. 

In the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle today, the Duke’s fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis, and Notlaw Storm.  They pulled a carriage designed by the Duke, who took up carriage driving at the age of 50.

At 11am this morning (local time), the Duke’s coffin was moved from Windsor Castle’s private chapel to the inner hall by a bearer party from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. More from Gordon Rayner’s Daily Telegraph story:  

Inside, hidden from view, the Duke’s coffin had been moved from the Private Chapel near the Queen’s apartments to the Inner Hall, where at 2.10pm the Dean of Windsor said prayers in the presence of members of the Royal family.

Below, the Duke’s coffin as it emerges from the State Entrance at Windsor Castle.  The Duke’s coffin was carried by both the Grenadier Guards and the Royal Marines. He became Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in 1975 and often wore his Guards uniform at ceremonial events. He was made Captain-General of the Marines in 1953, and his final official engagement ahead of his retirement was a Royal Marines parade at Buckingham Palace. 

We return to the Daily Telegraph piece by Gordon Rayner

Gathered in the quadrangle outside the State Entrance, and lining the route of the hearse, were 730-plus members of the Armed Forces, representing the ships, naval stations, regiments and other military units with a personal connection to the Duke.

They included 42 members of the Royal Navy, in which the Duke served from 1939 to 1951, rising to the rank of Commander before his royal duties forced him to leave active service.

This 2:30 video shows that part of the ceremony.  

 The coffin was then loaded onto the specially designed Land Rover modified for this purpose. 

Atop the coffin, the Duke’s Admiral of the Fleet Naval cap and sword, as well as a spray of white roses and lilies selected by The Queen.  The sword was given to him by King George VI.

There was also a handwritten card. The Telegraph reports the card read “in loving memory”… the signature on the card was tucked out of sight in the flowers, obscuring whether it read Elizabeth or Lillibet – the Duke’s nickname for the Queen.”

Those walking behind the coffin took their places. Here you see Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Peter Phillips (the Duke’s oldest grandchild), and Vice Admiral Tim Laurence.

Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence and the Earl of Snowdon also walked behind the coffin as well as members of the Duke’s staff.

HM’s Bentley followed the procession. The Queen was accompanied during the procession by lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey. Hello reports, “Baroness Hussey has been a friend and companion to the Queen since she joined the court in 1960 where she became the Queen’s Woman of the Bedchamber. She was initially employed to respond to letters after Prince Andrew’s birth.” She is a godmother to Prince William.

From Thursday’s post, I bring back The Telegraph’s graphic showing the route. 

Another view.

A quick video. 

The procession.

A wide shot of the procession.

Family members as they arrive at the steps of the chapel to await the procession. Below, the Duchess of Cambridge. 

The Duchess of Cornwall. The group as the procession approaches. 

A slightly different view. 

The Duchess bows her head as the procession arrives at the Galilee Porch.

HM exiting her vehicle at the end of the procession. Lady Susan was unable to join her at the service because of the strict limit on guests.

HM at the Galilee Porch with the Dean of Windsor.

More from Patricia Treble’s Maclean’s story

His widow entered St. George’s Chapel, and sat in her usual spot near the altar, waiting for her husband. She was alone.  

His coffin was borne by eight Royal Marines into St. George’s Chapel, within the walls of the largest, oldest inhabited castle in the world. Halfway up the stairs, they stopped. Then, silence. Absolute, utter silence for a minute. No planes flying overhead, bound for Heathrow (they stopped air traffic control for six minutes to make sure), no rustling of orders of service by guests. Nothing but guns firing their salutes.

Ceremonial guns were fired at nine locations across the UK and in Gibraltar to mark the beginning and end of the silence. Below, the scene at Buckingham Palace during the silence. 

At Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which Prince Philip attended. 

At Windsor. 

HM inside the chapel.

The view from inside the chapel as the coffin arrived. 

You can see the family members that walked in the procession in this photo. 

And a wide shot from outside. 

Family members follow the coffin inside St. George’s Chapel. 

The service got underway at precisely 3pm.

A look inside the chapel.

From Allison Pearson’s column for The Telegraph

Like his equally great predecessor, Prince Albert, his “express desire” was for his send-off at Windsor to be “of the plainest and most private character”.

The Duke planned many of the elements in today’s service.  Below, the Order of Service (viewable here). 

HM during the service. 

The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner, who said Philip’s life had been “a blessing”.

“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 Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. 

Another view of the congregants. 

The Cambridges.

There was a choir of four, distanced from the seated guests. 

One of the hymns, Eternal Father, Strong to Save, is associated with seafarers and is often referred to as the Royal Navy Hymn.  Below, the first verse. 

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep,
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea!

And a video as it was performed today.    

Readings included these verses from Ecclesiastes 43, read by the Dean of Windsor. 

Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


The Archbishop of Canterbury pronouncing the blessing.

“O eternal God, before whose face the generations rise and pass away, thyself unchanged, abiding, we bless thy holy name for all who have completed their earthly course in thy faith and following, and are now at rest; we remember before thee this day Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, rendering thanks unto thee – for his resolute faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity, for his life of service to the nation and Commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership.

“To him, with all the faithful departed, grant thy peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

We return to Allison Pearson’s Telegraph piece

Instead, it was the kind of austere ritual preferred by a man who liked formality because he knew what good form meant. Princess Anne once said her father was “good at spotting flannel”. His funeral was sparse and beautiful and commendably short of flannel. The Duke specified liturgy, anthems and prayers which, to any traditional Christian, would be well-known and sufficient unto death – and the life to come.

Below, Prince Edward; and son James, Viscount Severn; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Lady Louise.

Princess Anne and her husband, Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence. 

Cameras cut away as the coffin was lowered into the chapel’s vault at the end of the service. More from The Telegraph. 

As his body was slowly lowered into the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, the cameras cut away, allowing each member of the Duke’s family the chance to grieve alone for their husband, father and grandfather.

As the time came for the coffin to slowly disappear, the Royal Family were granted that critical moment to themselves. The cameras cut away from the Queen, hunched over and head bowed, to the piper, the buglers and trumpeters positioned in the Nave.

She was in her usual seat in the second row of the Quire, but this time, for the first time, without her husband by her side.

The service, carefully designed by the Duke himself, was always going to be a moment for the nation to grieve alongside the family. But this was recognition that, behind the pomp and pageantry, this was at its heart a family occasion.

The Dean of Windsor gave the Commendation at the end of the service. 

Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul; In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengtheneth thee; May thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.”

The Buglers of the Royal Marines as they sounded A Lament and The Last Post.

I’ll wrap up with a few photos that I found striking. Below, Her Majesty the Queen, as she awaited the procession’s approach to the altar.

An empty seat on the Duke’s carriage had his gloves, cap, and blanket. Richard Palmer reports the red container held sugar lumps Prince Philip would give the ponies after carriage driving in the castle quadrangle. 

Prince Charles as he walked in the procession. 

The scene at Picadilly Circus during the funeral. 

Part of a ‘postbox topper’ in Windsor that someone knit, photographed by Chris Jackson.

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten; she is married to the grandson of Prince Philip’s beloved uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Another photo of HM. 

And this photo of HM and the Duke in 2003, released yesterday by Buckingham Palace.  The photo was taken by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and shows the couple at the top of the Coyles of Muick in Scotland, near Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire.

The Royal Family’s social media post following today’s funeral.

I’ll conclude with this piece from the Royal Family titled The Patriarch’s Elegy, by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.  


If you missed the service or want to re-watch parts, here is the full funeral as shown on the official British Monarchy YouTube channel.

This is the BBC’s full broadcast.

And the full 4-hour broadcast from Sky News.  

This Sky News video runs a bit less than 2 minutes and includes the national anthem, God Save the Queen



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Thursday 6th of May 2021

I watched the ceremony and it was a beautiful if not very personal ceremony (I knew there would be no eulogies beforehand). I was quite moved by the images of the Queen sitting alone. She seemed so diminutive and almost inconsequential hunched over her program, I don't think we got many shots of her face during the actual ceremony. I was hoping Charles or maybe her lady in waiting would sit next to her.

The customized hearse essentially looked like a military pickup truck. My friend and I were texting back and forth and she hadn't known about the hearse beforehand and she was so perplexed that Philip's last wishes were to be transported on what essentially looked like a fancy pick up truck. But he was very no muss no fuss and it's probably just as well he passed away during the pandemic. I doubt he would have wanted hundreds of people attending his funeral service and he was able to go out on his own terms.

Virginia L Danielson

Saturday 1st of May 2021

These are just wonderful pictures and commentary. Thank you.


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

The scripture comes from the book of Ecclesiasticus


Monday 19th of April 2021

A very tasteful post. Thank you.


Monday 19th of April 2021

A few people have commented about how touching it was to see Prince Philip's fell ponies and the carriage he designed. It was announced on Monday morning, that Lady Louise, daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie, would now be the owner of the animals and the carriage. Lady Louise took up carriage driving a few years ago and was mentored by her grandfather. It seems fitting that she would now be entrusted with the ponies and carriage. As the Wessex family lives quite close to the Queen at Windsor, the animals will likely stay at the stable that they are used to.

Elizabeth in OR

Monday 19th of April 2021

I had hoped this would be the case but was unaware that it had actually happened. Thank you so much for sharing the information.

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