Following strict social distancing rules during the pandemic, the queen set an example even in grief, sitting apart from family members who were arrayed around the church.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II bows her head as she sits 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)
Credit: Jonathan Brady
Credit: Jonathan Brady
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, sat opposite the monarch alongside his wife, Camilla. Prince Andrew was two seats to the queen’s left. Prince William and his wife, Kate, sat directly opposite from his brother Prince Harry, who had traveled back from California without his pregnant wife, Meghan.
People across Britain observed one minute of silence in honor of Philip just before the funeral got underway. Under soft spring sunshine, some locals earlier stopped outside the castle to leave flowers, but people largely heeded requests by police and the palace not to gather because of the pandemic.
Britain's Prince Charles, from front left behind coffin, Princess Anne, obscured, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Earl of Snowdon and Tim Laurence follow the coffin as it makes it's way past the Round Tower during the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England Saturday April 17, 2021. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP)
Credit: Leon Neal
Credit: Leon Neal
Philip’s coffin traveled to the chapel on a specially adapted Land Rover designed by the prince himself. The coffin was draped in his personal standard and topped with his Royal Navy cap, sword and a wreath of flowers.
- Associated Press
UPDATE 11:09 A.M.:
Prince Philip has been interred in the Royal Vault at St. George’s Chapel alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including three kings of England. But it will likely not be his permanent resting place.
The biggest of seven interment sites inside the chapel, the vault houses the remains of King George III, whose almost six-decade reign included the years of the American Revolution. His sons King George IV and King William IV are also buried there.
The vault has also been the temporary resting place for almost 30 royals, including Philip’s mother, Princess Andrew of Greece. Her remains were transferred to the convent on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where they now lie near her aunt, Grand Duchess Serge of Russia.
King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, was interred in the Royal Vault for 17 years before his remains were moved to the King George VI Memorial Chapel at St. George’s in 1969. His wife, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and daughter Princess Margaret were interred alongside him after they died in 2002.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, she and Philip are expected to be buried in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.
- Associated Press
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II follows the coffin in a car as it makes its way past the Round Tower during the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England Saturday April 17, 2021. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP)
Credit: Leon Neal
Credit: Leon Neal
The funeral for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will be held Saturday, April 17, in London.
Buckingham Palace said Philip’s funeral will be “much reduced in scale and with no public access.” Only 30 people will be in attendance at the event, which will take place at Windsor Castle.
Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. Earlier this year, Prince Philip underwent surgery and a lengthy recovery from surgery for a preexisting heart condition. Philip was admitted Feb. 16 to a private London hospital, where he was treated for an infection.
Philip retired in 2017 and rarely appeared in public. Before his hospitalization, he had been isolating at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Although he enjoyed good health well into old age, Philip had heart issues. In 2011, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains and was treated for a blocked coronary artery.
The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He and the queen had four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Philip’s life spanned nearly a century of European history, starting with his birth as a member of the Greek royal family and ending as Britain’s longest-serving consort during a turbulent reign in which the 1,000-year-old monarchy was forced to reinvent itself for the 21st century.
Born June 10, 1921, on the dining room table at his parents’ home on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip was the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew, younger brother of the king of Greece. His grandfather had come from Denmark during the 1860s to be adopted by Greece as the country’s monarch.
Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, a descendent of German princes. Like his future wife, Elizabeth, Philip was also a great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
When Philip was 18 months old, his parents fled to France. His father, an army commander, had been tried after a devastating military defeat by the Turks. After British intervention, the Greek junta agreed not to sentence Andrew to death if he left the country.
The family was not exactly poor but, Philip said: “We weren’t well off” — and they got by with help from relatives. He later brought only his navy pay to a marriage with one of the world’s richest women.
Philip’s parents drifted apart when he was a child, and Andrew died in Monte Carlo in 1944. Alice founded a religious order that did not succeed and spent her old age at Buckingham Palace. A reclusive figure, often dressed in a nun’s habit, she was little seen by the British public. She died in 1969 and was posthumously honored by Britain and Israel for sheltering a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Athens during the war.
Philip went to school in Britain and entered Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth as a cadet in 1939. He got his first posting in 1940 but was not allowed near the main war zone because he was a foreign prince of a neutral nation. When the Italian invasion of Greece ended that neutrality, he joined the war, serving on battleships in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Pacific.
On leave in Britain, he visited his royal cousins, and, by the end of the war, it was clear he was courting Princess Elizabeth, eldest child and heir of King George VI. Their engagement was announced July 10, 1947, and they were married on Nov. 20.
After an initial flurry of disapproval that Elizabeth was marrying a foreigner, Philip’s athletic skills, good looks and straight talk lent a distinct glamour to the royal family.
Elizabeth beamed in his presence, and they had a son and daughter while she was still free of the obligations of serving as monarch.
But King George VI died of cancer in 1952 at age 56. Philip had to give up his naval career, and his subservient status was formally sealed at the coronation, when he knelt before his wife and pledged to become “her liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship.”
The change in Philip’s life was dramatic.
“Within the house, and whatever we did, it was together,” Philip told biographer Basil Boothroyd of the years before Elizabeth became queen. “People used to come to me and ask me what to do. In 1952, the whole thing changed, very, very considerably.”
Said Boothroyd: “He had a choice between just tagging along, the second handshake in the receiving line, or finding other outlets for his bursting energies.”
So Philip took over management of the royal estates and expanded his travels to all corners of the world, building a role for himself. From 1956, he was Patron and Chairman of Trustees for the largest youth activity program in Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a program of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people that exists in more than 100 countries. Millions of British children have had some contact with the award and its famous camping expeditions.
He painted, collected modern art, was interested in industrial design and planned a garden at Windsor Castle. But, he once said, “the arts world thinks of me as an uncultured, polo-playing clot.”
In time, the famous blond hair thinned and the long, fine-boned face acquired a few lines. He gave up polo but remained trim and vigorous. To a friend’s suggestion that he ease up a bit, the prince is said to have replied, “Well, what would I do? Sit around and knit?”
But when he turned 90 in 2011, Philip told the BBC he was “winding down” his workload and he reckoned he had “done my bit.”
The next few years saw occasional hospital stays as Philip’s health worsened.
He announced in May 2017 that he planned to step back from royal duties, and he stopped scheduling new commitments — after roughly 22,000 royal engagements since his wife’s coronation. In 2019, he gave up his driver’s license after a serious car crash.
Philip is survived by the queen and their four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — as well as eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The grandchildren are Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry; Anne’s children, Peter and Zara Phillips; Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Edward’s children, Lady Louise and Viscount Severn.
The great-grandchildren are William and Kate’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis; Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie; Savannah and Isla, the daughters of Peter Phillips and his wife, Autumn; Mia and Lena, the daughters of Zara Phillips and her husband, Mike Tindall; and Eugenie’s son, August, with her husband, Jack Brooksbank.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.