Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday laid to rest her late husband of 73 years, prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, in a royal funeral like no other at St George’s chapel, although with coronavirus restrictions in place but also reflecting his long life of military and public service.
Members of the royal family – Philip’s four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward, and some of his grandchildren, including William and Harry – walked in a somber procession behind his coffin as it was driven to his chapel.
As is custom, no family members delivered an eulogy, but the Rev. David Conner, dean of Windsor, who conducted the funeral service, spoke of “the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us.”
Pandemic rules in Britain meant that the funeral was pared down, with adjustments including a limit of 30 guests at the church service. The queen and select family members in attendance all wore masks and were seated six feet apart in the chapel.
The ceremony was very rich with the symbolism and nods to Philip’s life of service of the royal family and to Britain. The Grenadier Guards, a centuries-old regiment of the British Army, which the Duke of Edinburgh served as a colonel for more than 40 years placed his coffin on a hearse that the prince helped design.
The funeral service lasted less than an hour. A choir of four sang music chosen by Prince Philip, but were some distance from the seated guests, in line with public health guidelines.
Near the end of the service, the “Last Post” was played by musicians from Britain’s Royal Marines, before military buglers had one final task. As planned by Prince Philip, the buglers sounded so-called Action Stations – a call used on naval warships to summon crew to battle readiness.
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