Queen Elizabeth attends Prince Philip’s funeral: photos

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After weeks of speculation as to whether or not she would be present at the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth attended the funeral service for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in London alongside other members of the royal family.

The 95-year-old monarch honored the life of her late husband at a Thanksgiving service for the Duke of Edinburgh, held on March 29, 2022, almost a year after his death in April 2021 at the age of 99. According to a Buckingham Palace press release, Philip’s memorial service recognized his commitment to his family, country and the Commonwealth, and recognized his service to the armed forces, charities and environmental issues throughout his life.

Buckingham Palace also took note of arrangements originally planned for Philip’s funeral in 2021 but which could not be carried out at the time due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the 2022 Philip memorial, the Queen was “actively involved” in arranging details to accommodate her husband’s original wishes during the service.

On the day of Philip’s memorial service, the Queen arrived by car, accompanied by her son Prince Andrew. His sighting came amid public controversy surrounding his sexual assault allegations and his alleged relationship with recently convicted felon Jeffrey Epstein. Nonetheless, the Queen chose to walk with Andrew by her side as she arrived at Philip’s memorial wearing an emerald hat and peacoat. The monarch’s arrival marked her first public royal appearance in five months after a series of recent health setbacks culminating in a COVID-19 diagnosis in February 2022. During the recovery, the monarch canceled a number of in-person visits and continued to perform light royal duties on Zoom.

Despite her recent health issues, the Queen appeared to be in good health at the Philip’s memorial and stood to pray and sing hymns throughout the service. When she arrived, she was led to her place on Andrew’s arm. She chose to sit alongside Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Andrew, meanwhile, sat next to his younger brother Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

The funeral service for Prince Philip included a number of heartfelt details to honor him after his death. According to People, the floral arrangements included white dendrobium orchids, which were part of the Queen’s wedding bouquet to Philip in 1947. The arrangements also included sea holly, which spoke of the Duke of Edinburgh’s love of the sea and his career in the Navy. Prince Philip also chose an anthem to be sung at his funeral before his death. While no congregation was present at his funeral in 2021 due to social distancing regulations, the song was finally included in his memorial service this year.

UK Prince Philip Memorial

Image: Richard Pohle/Pool via AP.

Philip’s memorial service also included a thoughtful address from the Dean of Windsor, who said: ‘He would hate to think that I should paint a picture of him as a ‘plaster saint’; someone without the usual human frailties and weaknesses. He was far too confident to ever fall for flattery.”

“Of course it must be said that his life was one of sacrifice and service. Certainly he could show great sympathy and kindness,” he continued. “There’s no doubt that he had a wonderfully engaging and often self-deprecating sense of humor. It is quite clear that his mind held speculation and common sense together.

“Furthermore, no one would ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to our Queen and her family. Still, there were times when he could be gruff; maybe in a robust conversation he forgot how intimidating he could be. A kind of nature reserve made him seem a little distant at times. He could be pretty crafty at stabbing what he thought were blows of self-importance or sycophancy. On the other hand, we should not forget that he himself was sometimes hurt by being unfairly criticized or misunderstood.

UK Prince Philip Memorial

Image: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP.

“Like the rest of us, he was part of flawed humanity. Unlike most of us, however, he was one of those rare people who stayed true to and guided by what you might call an “inner spiritual compass”; a sense of being called to play a part in creating a world willed by God.

“As we give thanks for the life of a remarkable man, perhaps our greatest tribute to him, especially in these far too troubled times, is that we accept the challenge implied in his life to rekindle something of him in our hearts to heed that call and pray (as I believe he did) for inspiration and guidance so that we can play our part, however small, in the work for a kinder future.”

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Image: Courtesy of Random House.

For more on the British royal family, see Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography. Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
The New York Times bestseller, which contains the “real story” behind several Netflix storylines The crown, followed the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her childhood as the “heir presumptive” to her father, King George VI; until the moment he met her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13; until her accession to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-seen documents, offers an in-depth look at the Queen’s legacy as one of the most celebrated monarchs in recent history.

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Brian Ashcraft

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