PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

As military bands played and a procession of royals escorted his coffin to the church, Prince Philip was laid to rest Saturday in a funeral ceremony that honoured his lifetime of service to the U.K., the crown and his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II.

The widowed British monarch, setting an example amid the coronavirus pandemic, sat alone at the ceremony, dressed in black and with her head bowed in prayer.

Philip, who died April 9 two months shy of his 100th birthday, was honoured at Windsor Castle in a service that was steeped in military and royal tradition but also pared down and infused with his own personality. The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of the castle, a 950-year-old royal residence 20 miles (30 kilometres) west of London, but was shown live on television.

Coronavirus restrictions meant that instead of the 800 mourners expected in the longstanding plans for Philip’s funeral, only 30 people were allowed inside the castle’s St. George’s Chapel, including the queen, her four children and her eight grandchildren.

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.

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 travelled back from California without his pregnant wife Meghan.

People across Britain observed one minute of silence in honour 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.

Philip’s coffin travelled 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.

For the procession, senior military commanders lined up in front of the vehicle. The children of Philip and the queen — Charles, Princess Anne, Andrew and Prince Edward — walked behind the hearse, while the 94-year-old queen travelled to the chapel in a Bentley car.

Grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry also walked behind the coffin, although not side by side. The brothers, whose relationship has been strained amid Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California, flanked their cousin Peter Phillips, the son of Anne.

For many viewers, the moment stirred memories of William and Harry at 15 and 12, walking behind their mother Princess Diana’s coffin in 1997, accompanied by their grandfather Philip, in a London ceremony televised around the world.

Later the two brothers were seen walking together and chatting Saturday as the mourners left the chapel after the service.

The funeral reflected Philip’s military ties, both as a ceremonial commander of many units and as a veteran of war. More than 700 military personnel took part, including army bands, Royal Marine buglers and an honour guard drawn from across the armed forces.

Inside the Gothic chapel, the setting for centuries of royal weddings and funerals, the service was simple and sombre.

The service began with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby entering the chapel ahead of the coffin, followed by Philip’s children and three of his eight grandchildren, as a four-member, socially distanced choir sang “I am the resurrection and the life.”

There was no sermon, at Philip’s request, and no family eulogies or readings, in keeping with royal tradition. But Dean of Windsor David Conner said the country had been enriched by Philip’s “unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.”

Philip spent almost 14 years in the Royal Navy and saw action in the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific during World War II. Several elements of his funeral had a maritime theme, including the hymn “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which is associated with seafarers and asks God: “O hear us when we cry to thee/For those in peril on the sea.”

Leading a prayer, Conner said: “Grant unto him the assurance of thine ancient promise that thou wilt ever be with those who go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters.”

As Philip’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, Royal Marine buglers sounded “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle. Its inclusion, after the traditional bugle call of “The Last Post,” was a personal request from Philip.

Philip was placed in the vault alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including three kings of England. But it will likely not be his permanent resting place. After the queen’s death, she and Philip are expected to be buried in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.

Along with Philip’s children and grandchildren, the 30 funeral guests included other senior royals and several of his German relatives. Philip was born a prince of Greece and Denmark and, like the queen, is related to a thicket of European royal families.

Ahead of the funeral, Buckingham Palace released a photo of the queen and Philip, smiling and relaxing on blankets in the grass in the Scottish Highlands in 2003. The palace said the casual photo was a favourite of the queen.

For decades, Philip was a fixture of British life, renowned for his founding of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards program that encouraged youths to challenge themselves and for a blunt-spoken manner that at times included downright offensive remarks. He lived in his wife’s shadow, but his death has sparked a reflection about his role, and new appreciation from many in Britain.

“He was a character, an absolute character,” said Jenny Jeeves as she looked at the floral tributes in Windsor. “He was fun, he was funny. Yes, he made quite a few gaffes, but it depends which way you took it really. Just a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, and a good example to all of us.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Royal family

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)

Most Read