Mar 29 – The Duke of York arrived alongside the Queen at Westminster Abbey, where other members of the Royal family,
European royals and representatives from hundreds of charities gathered as part of a 1,800-strong congregation to pay tribute to the Duke’s lifelong service to the country and Commonwealth.
The event was still one of the largest gatherings of the extended Royal family in many months, with the following members in attendance. A number of Prince Philip’s great-grandchildren were also present, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The ceremony was also attended by around 30 foreign royals, many of whom were on the pre-pandemic guest list to Prince Philip’s funeral. They included Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, the King and Queen of the Netherlands and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the King and Queen of Sweden, and the King and Queen of the Belgians.
Two representatives each from more than 210 charities of which Prince Philip was patron or president were invited to the service. The Duke was connected to 785 organisations during his decades of Royal duty.
Over the years, Philip carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and gave more than 5,400 speeches, as well as taking part in thousands of other engagements with the Queen and committing himself to innumerable obligations behind the scenes.
Dean of Windsor David Conner – a long-time friend of Prince Philip who also conducted his funeral – told the congregation at this service that the duke’s life “bore the marks of sacrifice and service”.
“Certainly, he could show great sympathy and kindness. There is no doubt that he had a delightfully engaging, and often self-deprecating, sense of humour.
“It is quite clear that his mind held together both speculation and common sense. Moreover, nobody would ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to our Queen and to their family.”
In his sermon, the Dean of Windsor, described a real-life man, full of energy and ideas, but who had no patience for pomposity or flattery.
The Queen and Prince Philip had been married for 73 years and in her Christmas message the Queen spoke in unusually personal terms about the loss of her “beloved” Philip.
The flowers on display at the memorial service included orchids, a reference to the orchids in the Queen’s wedding bouquet. She and Prince Philip were married in 1947 at Westminster Abbey.
The Poignant Symbolism Behind the Royal Family’s All-Green Outfits Queen Elizabeth and the royal family gathered at Westminster Abbey for a memorial service honoring Prince Philip. Hundreds of others joined them in the pews, such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, representatives from charities associated with the late Duke, as well as many other high-profile government figures. Most donned the traditional black for the occasion.
However, when Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne walked in, they did so wearing a shade of forest green. It was no accident: The choice was very much coordinated and intentional, as the specific shade was the official livery color of Prince Philip.
Livery, for a quick definition, is the distinctive clothing worn by a person of rank—and their household. “The Duke of Edinburgh’s official livery color is dark green, known as ‘Edinburgh Green’. It has been used for staff liveries—the Duke of Edinburgh’s page at the Coronation wore dark green and silver—and private cars,” reads the British monarchy’s official website. For Prince Philip’s funeral last April, the Range Rover carrying his coffin was retro-outfitted in the shade. The queen accented her Edinburgh Green outfit with a diamond and ruby brooch that was a gift from Philip in 1966.
Image courtesy Getty Images and Dominic Lipinski/PA