British Royal Family Bids Farewell To Prince Philip At Funeral Limited By COVID-19

  • Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday bid farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, at a royal funeral like no other, restricted by coronavirus rules but reflecting his long life of military and public service.
  • The Queen, 94, seen for the first time since his death, was dressed in mourning black, with a white-trimmed, black face mask. Close family, also masked, sat socially distanced in the historic 15th-century Gothic chapel.

Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday bid farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, at a royal funeral like no other, restricted by coronavirus rules but reflecting his long life of military and public service.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at age 99, was interred in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after a 50-minute service attended by just 30 guests.

The Queen, 94, seen for the first time since his death, was dressed in mourning black, with a white-trimmed, black face mask. Close family, also masked, sat socially distanced in the historic 15th-century Gothic chapel.

Philip — described by royals as “the grandfather of the nation” — was Britain’s longest-serving royal consort and was married to the Queen for 73 years.

According to AFP, he was an almost constant presence at her side during her record-breaking reign that began in 1952 as Britain rebuilt from World War II, and as its global empire began to unravel.

His death, which the family said had left a “huge void” in the Queen’s life, has robbed of her of the man she called her “strength and stay” and closes a remarkable chapter for Britain’s most famous family, and in the country’s history.

The last high-profile funeral of a senior royal was for the Queen’s mother, who died in 2002, aged 101.

But unlike then, when more than one million people thronged outside Westminster Abbey in central London to watch the sombre pageant, the public was noticeably absent from Saturday’s ceremony.

Prince Philip

The coronavirus pandemic forced hasty revisions to the well-rehearsed plans for the duke’s death, code-named “Operation Forth Bridge”, stripping back public elements to prevent large crowds from gathering.

Government guidelines limited the number of mourners and a quartet performed hymns the duke chose himself in a barren nave stripped of seating.

Mark of respect

The ceremonial funeral from behind the stately castle walls was broadcast live on television to millions across Britain and the world.

Beforehand, a military gun fired to signal a minute’s silence, when his coffin, draped in his standard and topped by a wreath of white roses and lilies from the Queen, his naval cap and ceremonial sword was borne by a bespoke Land Rover hearse he designed himself, arrived at the chapel.

Across Britain — on the streets, in shops, railway stations and at sporting events — people bowed their heads with respect.

Flights in and out of nearby Heathrow Airport were stopped for the duration of the ceremony.

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