No eulogies, but funeral remembered Prince Philip’s ‘unwavering loyalty’ to Queen Elizabeth II

LONDON — Britain’s Prince Philip was remembered for his “unwavering loyalty” to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, according to the order of service for his funeral Saturday, which he helped plan.

There was no eulogy or sermon at the ceremonial funeral, which was set to reflect his close ties to the military as well as personal elements of the Duke of Edinburgh’s life, Buckingham Palace said.

The dean of Windsor, the Rev. David Conner, who led the service, said, “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.”

“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,” he added.

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Ahead of the service, which began at 3 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET), Philip’s coffin was transported on a specially customized Land Rover, which he helped design, from the inner hall at Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel, which also sits on the grounds of the 11th-century palace.

Prince William; his brother, Prince Harry; and their father, Prince Charles, joined other members of the royal family in a procession behind it.

As Philip’s coffin was removed and carried to the west steps of the chapel, it rested for a minute of national silence.

Members of the royal family who walked in the procession were then conducted to their places in the abbey as the choir sang. The dean of Windsor then said the bidding.

Only 30 guests were allowed to attend after the funeral was scaled down because of British coronavirus restrictions. Those not in a family bubble, including both the queen and Harry, were forced to sit alone, around 6 feet apart from other attendees, in line with current Covid-19 rules.

The choir then sang “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which is traditionally associated with the Royal Navy and the palace said reflected Philip’s military service and lifelong support of the armed forces.

An adaptation of Psalm 104, which Philip requested be set to music by William Lovelady, was then sung. Following this was a piece that Philip specially commissioned for the St. George’s Chapel choir. It was also featured at a concert celebrating the duke’s 75th birthday.

The palace said there would be no singing by the congregation in line with government coronavirus guidelines.

After the coffin was lowered into the royal vault, Philip’s many titles were proclaimed and a lament was played by a pipe major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

At the end of the funeral service, the buglers of the Royal Marines sounded “Action Stations,” a traditional announcement made on a naval warship to signify that all hands should go to battle stations, as requested by Philip, the palace said.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, then pronounced the blessing before the national anthem was sung by the choir.

Ahead of the service, the royal family shared a private photograph of the queen and Philip, taken in 2003 by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the wife of the couple’s youngest son, Prince Edward, when they were in the Scottish Highlands.

The royal couple look relaxed against a wild backdrop, with the duke lying back and propping himself up on his elbow. Both are smiling warmly at the camera.

The royal family also shared a montage of photos of Philip along with a poem written by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.


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