Last week, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away at the age of 99. He was Britain’s longest-serving consort, or spouse of a reigning monarch, and was married to the Queen for 73 long years.
His funeral took place on April 17 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor’s Castle, complete with a procession from The Grenadier Guards, of which the prince himself was a colonel of for more than four decades.
The Prince’s children and grandchildren also took part in the procession, which carried his coffin to the chapel.
Noticeably present at the service was Prince Harry, who was without his pregnant wife Meghan Markle. The latter was told to remain in their California home on doctor’s orders.
Aside from the unprecedented royal rift further intensified by Harry and Meghan’s shocking Oprah interview earlier last month, circumstances surrounding the royal funeral were even more unusual amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Only 30 people were allowed during the church service, with all guests being required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. The attendees included members of the royal family, other relatives, and close friends.
Prince Philip surprisingly had a lot of say in the organization of the funeral, an event which he and the royal family had been anticipating up to two decades ago. He helped to design the hearse, chose the choir song to be sung at the service, and even planned for the buglers to sound “Action Stations” at the end of the service.
While controversial in his own right, Prince Philip did lead an extraordinary life in the face of the modern era. He stood by Queen Elizabeth through the many changes Britain faced in a rapidly evolving world.
He served in the Royal Navy for 14 years, involved himself in hundreds of organizations and charities, and participated in over 22,000 public engagements in support of his wife. The prince had been notable for his passion, dedication, and fervent sense of duty.
To Boris Johnson, current Prime Minister of the UK, he was an individual that “inspired the lives of countless young people”; Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury described him as an “outstanding officer” and “prophetic voice”.
But for Prince Harry, his grandchild, he was known as someone who was “authentically himself” with “seriously sharp wit”.
In a statement released to the press, Harry said, “To me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”
In his own statement, Prince William called his grandfather “an extraordinary man” that was “part of an extraordinary generation.”
“I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job,” he said.
You can watch key moments of Prince Philip’s funeral here.