In accordance with coronavirus protocols, Queen Elizabeth and her family members paid their last respects to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, and laid him at a temporary Vault in St George’s Chapel, Windsor after the funeral service.
At the event which was witnessed by 30 members of the royal family, Philip, who passed on at 99 on April 9, remains was interred at the vaults pending when the Queen, his wife of over 73 years, pass on and his remains would be transferred to the gothic church’s King George VI memorial chapel to lie beside each other.
During the funeral on Saturday, Elizabeth dressed in black and in a white trimmed black mask, stood alone as her husband of over seven decades was lowered into the Royal Vault in a service attended by senior royals including heir Prince Charles and his sons Princes William and Harry.
The queen, who was placed alone in the ceremony at St George’s Chapel with her children, grandchildren, and a select group of royal mourners, separated due to COVID-19 rules, observed as mourners celebrated her husband’s naval past, his international heritage, and seven decades of service in which he helped guide Elizabeth through repeated crises.
At this time, Philip’s naval cap and sword lay on top of the coffin, which was covered with the Duke of Edinburgh’s personal standard featuring the Danish coat of arms, the Greek cross, Edinburgh Castle, and the stripes of the Mountbatten family.
A wreath of white roses, lilies, and jasmine from the 94-year-old queen also adorned the coffin of her husband who she walked down the aisle side-by-side with two years after the second world war, 1947, helping the young queen adapt the monarchy to the changing world of the post-World War II era as the loss of empire and the decline of deference challenged the world’s most prominent royal family.
The four-person choir sang a sailors’ hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”, and shortly before he was lowered into the Royal Vault, the Russian “Kontakion of the Departed”, a hymn of the Orthodox and Eastern churches, echoed around the ancient church. There were no eulogies.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, during the funeral which he officiated, said: “We remember before thee this day Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, rendering thanks unto thee–for his resolute faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity”.
The archbishop praised Philip’s “life of service to the nation and Commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership,” which helped to stabilised the country during Princess Diana’s death and others.
After the nation observed a minute’s silence in brilliant sunshine, Harry and William took up their places on opposite sides of the chapel in Windsor Castle, with the final resting place of Tudor monarch Henry VIII dividing them.
With the development, the queen has now been widowed just as she grapples with one of the gravest crises to hit the royal family in decades – allegations of racism and neglect by it from her grandson Harry and his American-born wife Meghan.
The palace emphasised beforehand that while the occasion would have the due pageantry that marks the passing of a senior royal, it remained an occasion for a mourning family to mark the passing of a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
“He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm and also because you never knew what he might say next,” Harry said of his grandfather.
Philip was a decorated Royal Navy veteran of World War Two and his funeral, much of which was planned in meticulous detail by the prince himself, had a strong military feel, with personnel from across the armed forces playing prominent roles.