Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II was memorialized Saturday in a funeral service, decades in the making, before being laid to rest in Windsor Castle.
Because of the pandemic, many of the usual ceremonies were dropped. After a national moment of silence, Philip’s body was carried to the gates of Windsor Castle in a personalized hearse, a Land Rover that he helped modify.
What would traditionally be a ceremony of great spectacle was greatly pared down. The public was barred from attending the funeral in person; only 30 people were allowed into St. George’s Chapel. Those in attendance, including many members of the royal family, sat socially distanced, wearing masks.
Queen Elizabeth, Philip’s wife of 73 years, sat alone, dressed in black.
The Rev. David Conner, who conducted the service, spoke of “the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us.”
“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith,” Conner said. “Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humor and humanity.”
Philip’s soul was celebrated to the strains of a four-person choir, singing selections chosen by him in advance. Before his death April 9 at the age of 99, Philip had spent years involved in crafting the details of his funeral.
His body was interred in the Royal Vault at St. George’s Chapel, alongside 24 other royals, including three kings of England.