17 Apr Prince Philip’s funeral: Today’s service will show just how much the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in the planning | UK News
The Royal Family in recent years have had their difficulties.
Like every family, the funeral will be their chance to say goodbye – but they will be aware that like so many royal events that have been held in Windsor, the eyes of the world will be on them.
Inevitably, this week the family reuniting in their grief has again brought a renewed interest in relationships and disagreements.
That understandably makes the family uncomfortable. It’s one of the reasons the Queen has decided they won’t wear military uniforms to avoid that being a distraction. They want the only focus to be the man who has been such an influential presence in all their lives.
And that is why the funeral will be the ultimate tribute to Prince Philip, albeit stripped back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a strange twist of fate, the restrictions mean it is probably even more of the type of ceremony that the duke would have wanted.
The military procession will still be striking, and a fitting display for such an important national figure, but inside for the service itself, it will be his family who make up the congregation: his wife, his children and grandchildren who will sit in the quire, an intimate but ornate space next to the altar inside St George’s Chapel, mourning his death quietly together.
What will come across in the funeral, from the music to the military procession, is just how much Prince Philip was involved in the planning.
The quirky touches, like the Land Rover he designed to carry his coffin, the fact buglers from the Royal Marines will sound “action stations” at the end of the service, it will unmistakably be a reflection of him, a reminder of how he was always respectful of tradition, dedicated to a life of public service but also not afraid to do things differently.
While the Royal Family want this to be a testament to his remarkable life and his lasting endeavours, this will be a deeply personal moment for them all.
The tributes this week have been in some ways surprisingly candid, beautifully warm and affectionate, for a family who usually like to keep their personal relationships private.
Their willingness to share with us photographs from their own collections, showing a side of Prince Philip we didn’t often see in public, a part of him that clearly meant so much to them all.
They have been genuinely touched by the messages of condolence that have come from around the world and across the UK.
COVID-19 has meant they haven’t been able to go out, meet people and engage with the public in the ways they may have wanted.
But the fact that they are still allowing cameras inside the castle grounds for this close family funeral, and will be sharing the order of service, shows a genuine desire that everyone can join them in this moment of mourning.
Remembering the duke, a dedicated consort and a man who they loved very much.