Prince Philip has been laid to rest at Windsor Castle following a funeral service and procession involving all members of the royal family.
The coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh — who passed away aged 99 on April 9 — has now been lowered into the Royal Vault in St. George’s Chapel, where the service took place.
TV coverage began earlier in the day, with the BBC, Sky and ITV having dedicated major chunks of their of their Saturday schedule to the event. U.S viewers can watch it live on CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC News, ABC News and BBC World News.
As per reports that emerged earlier in the week, the Duke’s — Princes Charles, Andrew, Edward and Princess Anne — walked behind the coffin, as well as grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry. The coffin, as it happens, was transported by a Land Rover Defender that Prince Philip helped design for the occasion. Queen Elizabeth travelled at the rear of the procession in the state Bentley.
It was just a short procession from Windsor Castle to the Chapel, taking around 20 minutes. But it was being led by the band of the Grenadier Guards, and followed by the Major General’s party and military chiefs of staff.
The 50-minute funeral service — which is a ceremonial rather than state funeral (usually reserved for monarchs), and was a more low-key event as per the late royal’s wishes — started at 3 p.m. U.K time (7 a.m. PT), beginning with a national minute’s silence.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the guest list for the service was limited to 30 people instead of the 800 that would normally have been expected to attend, with the congregation — mostly made up of royal family members, including three German relatives of Prince Philip — wearing masks and socially distance, with the Queen seated alone, nearest the alter. Prince Harry and Prince William sat opposite each other, with William joined by members of his family while Harry seated alone. Meghan Markle was unable to travel from the U.S. due to her pregnancy.Buckingham Palace said that the Queen had faced “some very difficult” decisions in choosing the 30 guests.
Alongside almost wall-to-wall tributes across British media following the royal’s death — a controversial decision that saw the BBC land a record number of complaints over its blanket coverage — there has been widespread speculation in the tabloid press since over the funeral preparations, especially in light of recent royal family controversies.
Prince Andrew sparked headlines after it was reported he had requested to wear an admiral’s uniform to the funeral (he was made an honorary vice-admiral to the navy in 2015), a move than the media speculated would wrangle with Prince Harry, who lost his military titles after stepping back from royal duties. However, it was later confirmed that the Queen insisted nobody wear military dress.
Another source of tabloid discussion was over the strained relationship of Prince Harry and Prince William, especially since the infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey, and how that would impact logistics. It was later confirmed by Buckingham Palace that they would walk behind the coffin on the procession separated by their cousin Peter Philips, the son of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. However, royal watchers noted that the two brothers walked apart from each other at Princess Diana’s funeral.