Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP)

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP)

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Wearing a face mask, the queen was dressed all in black, except for a diamond brooch

Sitting by herself at the funeral of Prince Philip on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth cut a regal but solitary figure: still the monarch, but now alone.

The queen sat apart from family members at the simple but sombre ceremony at Windsor Castle, in accordance with strict social distancing rules during the coronavirus pandemic. But if the ceremony had been for anyone else, at her side would have been her husband of 73 years, who gave a lifetime of service to the crown.

Wearing a face mask, the queen was dressed all in black, except for the diamond brooch that flashed on her left shoulder — a piece she had often worn on engagements with her husband.

The monarch’s four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — sat nearby, as did the queen and Philip’s eight grandchildren. The stripped-back service made their loss somehow more personal for people who often live their lives in public.

Just 30 mourners were allowed to attend the service for the prince, who died April 9 at the age of 99. The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of the castle, a 950-year-old royal residence 20 miles (30 kilometres) west of London, but was shown live on television.

Hundreds of people lined the streets outside the castle to pay their respects to the prince. Some held Union flags and clutched flowers, while others wore custom face masks featuring the royal’s photo.

“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,” the dean of Windsor, David Conner, said in his call to prayer.

The nation honoured Philip with a minute’s silence observed across the United Kingdom at 3 p.m., its beginning and end marked by a gun fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The final shot signalled the start of a funeral service steeped in military and royal tradition, but infused with the duke’s personality.

Philip’s body was carried to St. George’s Chapel at the castle on a Land Rover that the prince himself had specially designed. It was followed by members of the Royal Family, including Princes William and Harry, who made their first public appearance together since Harry and his wife, Meghan, gave a controversial interview to U.S. television host Oprah Winfrey in which they discussed the difficulties of royal life and how the two brothers had grown apart.

The procession traversed the grounds of Windsor Castle, passing military detachments arrayed under bright blue skies.

Inside the medieval Gothic chapel, the setting for centuries of royal weddings and funerals, this service was quiet and without excessive pageantry. Philip was deeply involved in planning the ceremony. At his request, there was no sermon. There were also no eulogies or readings, in keeping with royal tradition.

Former Bishop of London Richard Chartres, who knew Philip well, said the 50-minute service reflected the preferences of the prince, who was a man of faith but liked things to be succinct.

“He was at home with broad church, high church and low church, but what he really liked was short church,” Chartres told the BBC.

Philip’s coffin was draped with Philip’s personal standard, topped with his Admiral of the Fleet Naval Cap and sword. The sword was given to him by his father-in-law, King George VI, on the occasion of his marriage to the queen in 1947.

The monarch offered her own touches to the day. Ahead of the funeral, Buckingham Palace released a photo of the queen and Philip, smiling and relaxing on blankets in the grass in the Scottish Highlands in 2003. The palace said the casual, unposed photo was a favourite of the queen.

Composing a wreath atop the coffin were flowers chosen by the queen, including white lilies, small white roses, white freesia, white wax flower, white sweet peas and jasmine. A note from the monarch was attached, but its contents were not disclosed.

The funeral reflected Philip’s military ties, both as the ceremonial commander of many units and as a veteran of the Royal Navy who served with distinction during World War II. More than 700 military personnel took part in the commemorative events, including army bands, Royal Marine buglers and an honour guard drawn from across the armed forces.

Lt. Gen. Roland Walker, regimental lieutenant colonel of the Grenadier Guards, said his unit was honoured to take part because of its close relationship with the prince. Philip served as regimental colonel of the guards, its honorary leader, for 42 years.

“This is a privilege,” he told the BBC. “Because my understanding is he planned this, so we’re here because he wanted us to be here, and that, I think, down to the junior guardsmen, is a known fact.’’

William and Harry were part of the nine-member royal contingent, although their cousin, Peter Phillips, walked between them. There was no obvious tension between the brothers, whose relationship has been strained since Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California. After the service, they walked back to the castle together, seeming to chat amiably.

Their appearance at the service stirred memories of the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana, when William and Harry, then 15 and 12, walked behind their mother’s coffin accompanied by Philip.

As Philip’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, Royal Marine buglers sounded “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle — included in the service at Philip’s request. He will rest there, at least until the queen’s death, alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including King George III, whose reign included the years of the American Revolution. The queen and Philip are expected to be buried together in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.

For decades, Philip was a fixture of British life, renowned for his founding of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards program that encouraged youths to challenge themselves and for a blunt-spoken manner that at times included downright offensive remarks. He lived in his wife’s shadow, but his death has sparked a reflection about his role, and new appreciation from many in Britain.

“To be perfectly honest I didn’t realize the extent (of) what his life had been, what he had done for us all,” said Viv Davies, who came to pay her respects in Windsor. “He was a marvelous husband, wasn’t he, to the queen and the children? Just remarkable — and I don’t think we will see the like again.”

___

Jill Lawless reported from London.

___

Danica Kirka And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

Royal family

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

RCMP vest
Penticton beach brawl results in one arrest but no charges

People took to social media after a fight broke out at the fire pits at Okanagan Lake Saturday

Vernon local Ryan Lazar – who specializes in 2D background design and 3D animation – is ready to start his career after a tough yet rewarding two years of studies. (Contributed)
Okanagan College students get animated at graduation

‘The pandemic has resulted in more video consumption and the animation industry is so hot right now because of it’

Road work is underway in Penticton so traffic controllers are asking drivers to be aware. (Submitted)
Message to Penticton drivers: Slow down and pay attention in Cone Zones

Over the last 10 years in B.C., 12 roadside workers died and 207 were injured

Meghan Thompson and her daughter Kennedy Lanteigne were awarded bravery awards on Saturday for helping to save the life of a baby drowning off a Naramata beach last June. (Submitted)
Penticton mom and daughter receive bravery awards for saving baby from drowning

Off duty Penticton fire captain also awarded for saving the boy’s life last summer in Naramata

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Barriere RCMP nabbed two suspects who were allegedly breaking into cabins in McLure. (File photo)
Thieves nabbed by Barriere Mounties during McLure break-ins

Police Service Dog Kody instrumental in making the arrest

(File photo)
Repeated cougar sighting on Okanagan Rail Trail

Plenty of bear sightings around the valley too

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

A single motorcycle parked outside of the Kelowna Hells Angels clubhouse at 837 Ellis Street on July 9, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna Hells Angels prospect sentenced to 9 months in jail for aggravated assault

Colin Michael Bayley pleaded guilty to the downtown Kelowna assault earlier this month

Salmon Arm RCMP seize a handgun, drugs and cash at a Silver Creek property on Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Police seize handgun, drugs and cash at a Shuswap property

Salmon Arm RCMP said warrant for Silver Creek revealed cannabis, possible cocaine, magic mushrooms

Vernon Search and Rescue, along with Shuswap members, rescued three kayakers near Lumby Sunday, May 16, 2021. (VSAR Instagram)
3 kayakers rescued in North Okanagan

Shuswap, Vernon search and rescue teams make swift-water rescue Sunday

Most Read