Queen says goodbye to husband, Meghan sends wreath for the service
Queen Elizabeth II was observed sitting by herself at the funeral of Prince Philip Saturday in what was a simple but somber ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Queen sat apart from family members as she said goodbye to her husband of 73 years, wearing a facemask and dressed in all black. Her outfit included a diamond brooch on her left shoulder, a piece she had often worn on engagements with her late husband.
Just 30 mourners were allowed to attend the service for the prince, who died April 9 at the age of 99.
“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, according to The Associated Press. “Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us; the encouragement that he has given us; his kindness, humor and humanity.”
Prince Philip’s body was carried to the chapel on a Land Rover that he 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 fellow Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey, in which they discussed the difficulties of royal life and how the two brothers had grown apart.
The nation honored the Duke of Edinburgh 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 signaled the start of a funeral service steeped in military and royal tradition, but infused with the duke’s personality, the AP reported.
Prince Philip was deeply involved with the ceremony and, per 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 Prince 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,” Mr. Chartres told the BBC.
Ahead of the funeral, Buckingham Palace released a photo of the Queen and Prince Philip, smiling and relaxing on blankets in the grass in the Scottish Highlands in 2003. The palace said the casual, unposed photo was a favorite of the Queen, the AP reported.
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 honor guard drawn from across the armed forces.
The armed forces also sent wreaths of flowers that were laid outside St. George’s chapel, some with handwritten notes. One said the Royal Marines wanted to pay their respects to a man “who stood with us and among us for 64 years.”
Lt. Gen. Roland Walker, regimental lieutenant colonel of the Grenadier Guards, said his unit was honored to take part because of its close relationship with the prince. 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.”
Prince Philip and the Queen’s children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — walked behind the hearse along with other members of the Royal Family, all of whom wore civilian clothes at the Queen’s request. The Queen followed in the State Bentley.
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 Montecito. After the service, they walked back to the castle together, seeming to chat amiably, according to national reports.
Ms. Markle couldn’t attend the funeral due to her pregnancy, but watched the Saturday service from the Montecito home she shares with Prince Harry, People magazine reported.
According to People, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent a personalized wreath for the service in honor of Prince Philip.
Willow Crossley, who worked with the couple on flowers for their wedding reception and their son Archie’s christening, designed the wreath with special instructions, People reported.
The wreath reportedly included sea holly in a nod to Prince Philip’s service with the Royal Marines and Acanthus mollis, the national flower of Greece, in a tribute to his ancestry.
The card accompanying the wreath was handwritten by Ms. Markle, People reported.
In a statement on his Archwell website, Prince Harry praised Prince Philip for his service to the royal family.
“Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered — by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I, as well as your future great-granddaughter, will always hold a special place for you in our hearts,” he wrote.
As was reported in the News-Press earlier this month following his death, Prince Phillip and the Queen made a royal appearance in Santa Barbara nearly 40 years ago, albeit during an epic storm season.
The British royals weathered the cold rain and were spotted at the Santa Barbara Airport, County Courthouse and Santa Barbara Mission, along with then-President Ronald Reagan’s ranch northwest of Santa Barbara. They even had plans to walk along Stearns Wharf, but those were washed out by the rainstorm.
Former Santa Barbara Mayor Sheila Lodge recalled meeting the Queen and Prince Philip when they visited in March 1983.
Mrs. Lodge was mayor at the time and said that there was “a great deal of excitement in Santa Barbara” when the royals’ visit was announced. The visit meant closing off the streets around the County Courthouse and the royals coming up the wrong way on Anacapa Street, where they got out and walked under the big arch.
“I didn’t have any real contact with Prince Philip during their visit. I was with the Queen, but my husband was with him and said he kept making remarks about the proceedings under his breath as they went on,” Mrs. Lodge told the News-Press earlier this month. “They were at the courthouse for all of 15 minutes, but it was a big moment of excitement.”
The former mayor of Santa Barbara said the prince’s good works will be missed, including being a force for environmental issues and serving as president of the World Wildlife Fund.
Prince Philip is survived by his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II, their daughter Princess Anne and their three sons: next-in-line-to-the-throne Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry and nine great-grandchildren, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie and Princess Eugenie’s new baby boy, August, whose middle name is Philip.