LONDON – Britain’s Prince Philip has been remembered for his “unwavering loyalty” to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, according to the funeral Saturday regulations that he helped to plan.
There was no eulogy or sermon at the solemn funeral to reflect his close ties to the military as well as personal elements of the Duke of Edinburgh’s life, Buckingham Palace said.
Windsor Dean Rev. David Conner, who led the service, said: “We were inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, steadfastness and faith.”
“Our lives have been enriched by the challenges he has given us, the encouragement he has given us, his kindness, humor and humanity,” he added.
Before the service, which started at 3 p.m. Local time (10 a.m.), Philip’s coffin was transported from the inner hall at Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel, also on the grounds of the 11th-century palace, on a custom-built Land Rover that he helped design.
Prince William; his brother, Prince Harry; and her father, Prince Charles, joined other members of the royal family in procession behind.
When Philip’s coffin was removed and carried to the west steps of the chapel, he rested for a minute in the national silence.
Members of the royal family who took part in the procession were then led to their seats in the abbey as the choir sang. The Dean of Windsor then said the bid.
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Only 30 guests were allowed to attend after the funeral was downsized due to UK coronavirus restrictions. Those who were not in a family bubble, including the Queen and Harry, had to sit alone, about three feet away from other participants, according to current Covid-19 rules.
The choir then sang “Eternal Father, Strong To Save”, which is traditionally associated with the Royal Navy and the Palace. This reflected Philip’s military service and lifelong support to the armed forces.
Then an adaptation of Psalm 104 was sung, which Philip wanted William Lovelady to set to music. This was followed by a piece that Philip commissioned specifically for the choir of St. George’s Chapel. It was also presented at a concert for the Duke’s 75th birthday.
The palace said the congregation would not sing according to the government’s coronavirus guidelines.
After the coffin was lowered into the royal vault, Philip’s many titles were proclaimed and a pipe major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland complained.
At the end of the memorial service, the Royal Marines bugles rang out “Action Stations,” a traditional announcement made on a Navy warship to indicate that all hands should go to combat stations as requested by Philip, the palace said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the oldest bishop of the Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican communion, then delivered the blessing before the choir sang the national anthem.
Before the service, the royal family shared a private photo the Queen and Philip, taken in 2003 by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wife of the couple’s youngest son, Prince Edward, when they were in the Scottish Highlands.
The royal couple look relaxed against a wild backdrop. The Duke is lying back, propping himself up on his elbow. They both smile warmly at the camera.
The royal family also shared one Montage of photos Written by Philip along with a poem by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.