Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Laid to Rest in Quiet Ceremony Amidst Covid Restrictions

By Kurt Stolz on 17 April 2021
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Buckingham Palace in London

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, was laid to rest amidst a somber albeit small affair replete with tradition and reverence.

The Queen sat alone during the service, and all guests who were not members of the same household had to sit around two meters apart.

Members of the royal family wore masks, allowing them to grieve a bit more privately.  While the mood was sorrowful, there had been a silver lining amidst the pandemic as the Queen and Prince Philip had been able to spend far more time than usual together while sequestered at Windsor Castle and Sandringham.

The funeral in some respects echoed how many people have had to say a final goodbye to a loved one with only their nearest and dearest in attendance. The number of mourners in attendance at the funeral was limited to 30 people. Buckingham Palace emphasized that the service was being held in line with British government coronavirus restrictions.

There were no eulogies or readings by family members at the service.

The coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh was transported from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel in a modified Land Rover that he had helped design.  It was flanked by pallbearers intended to highlight the war decorated hero’s relationships with the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps, and Air Stations.  The prince gave up his military career to attend to royal duties after the coronation of then Princess Elizabeth, following the death of her father, George VI, in 1952.

The couple was together for 73 years.

Because of the Covid restrictions in place, Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not attend the funeral but, rather, watched it from his country residence of Chequers.

Similarly, members of the public were asked to refrain from going to St. George’s Chapel although some gathered outside the castle walls at Windsor.  The public was instead asked to pay their respects via an online book of condolences.  Traditional books of condolence are not being made available in public buildings in keeping with the strict Covid guidelines still in place.

The country observed a national one minute of silence at 3 p.m. local time, marking the start of the funeral.  London’s Heathrow Airport grounded all flights for six minutes to ensure that the sounds from jet engines would not divert attention away from the somber occasion.

After the 50-minute service, the Queen was led away by the Dean of Windsor.  Following the Queen’s departure, other members of the royal family including Prince William; Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge; and Prince Harry walked back to Windsor Castle together.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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