Presiding over Prince Philip's intimate funeral on Saturday, the dean of Windsor (the spiritual head of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle) praised the Duke of Edinburgh's "kindness, humor, and humanity," as well as his "unwavering loyalty" to Queen Elizabeth II and his service in the Royal Navy.
The tribute was concise and, as per Philip's request, the dean did not deliver a sermon.
"We remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us"
Only 30 people, including Philip's grandsons William and Harry, were at the ceremony in person because of coronavirus restrictions. The attendees wore masks and remained socially distanced, based on households. The queen sat in a section of a pew by herself, which prompted several people to comment on how the "striking" scene was representative of how many people have had to grieve this last year because of the pandemic. Tim O'Donnell
For many of us who lost someone over the past year, this picture is how we felt, and even still feel. There was much vicarious grief today: in a sense, the Dean of Windsor and Archbishop of Canterbury committed many thousands to eternal rest, and comforted millions of the living. pic.twitter.com/gCbVdNf83z
Born Prince Philip of Greece, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, he was married to Queen Elizabeth for 73 years. Only 30 people will be able to attend his ceremonial royal funeral due to COVID-19 precautions, and the guest list is limited to just family, including the queen; their four children; grandchildren and spouses; and extended family members.
The funeral procession will start at 9:40 ET, with his coffin transported from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel. Members of the armed forces will line up along the route, firing guns in salute. Several family members will walk behind Prince Philip's coffin, including his children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — and grandchildren.
The 50-minute service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, and a four-person choir will sing pieces selected by Prince Philip. The funeral will be broadcast in the United States on NBC. Catherine Garcia
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died on Friday at 99, prompting a collective look back at his fascinating life.
Obituaries for the late Duke of Edinburgh walked through the late royal's life from his birth in 1921 to his service in World War II and his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II. He was born on the Greek island of Corfu on a dining room table, according to The Washington Post, and as an infant was "smuggled out of Greece in a fruit crate" while his father fled execution, The New York Times reports.
The obituaries were also filled with interesting little nuggets about him, including that he "carried British passport No. 1 (the queen did not require one)," as the Times wrote.
Philip instituted "efficiencies" at Buckingham Palace, including installing intercoms, and while he loved sailing, he "was said to have so little patience with horse racing that he had his top hat fitted with a radio so that he could listen to cricket matches when he escorted the queen to her favorite spectator sport," the Times said. He was also the "first member of the royal family to do a televised interview," according to NBC News.
His large personal library was "particularly illuminating" of him and his interests, the Post wrote, as it reportedly included "560 books on birds, 456 on religion, 373 on horses and 352 on the navy and ships." Speaking of which, a report in The Sun once claimed Philip was an "avid reader of books about UFOs and aliens."
Of course, obituaries for Philip also took note of his reputation for offensive sexist and racist comments, with BBC News writing, "That he could be rude, startlingly so at times, there is no doubt." Historian Sarah Gristwood told NBC, though, "He helped create the model of the British royal family that has enabled it to continue forward into the 21st century. We may have lost sight of that now, but I hope we'll remember him for it." Brendan Morrow