WINDSOR, April 18, 2021: As military bands played and a procession of royals escorted his coffin to the church, Prince Philip was laid to rest Saturday in a funeral ceremony that honoured his lifetime of service to the U.K., the crown and his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II.
The widowed British monarch, setting an example amid the coronavirus pandemic, sat alone at the ceremony, dressed in black and with her head bowed in prayer.
Philip, who died April 9, two months shy of his 100th birthday, was honoured at Windsor Castle in a service that was steeped in military and royal tradition but also pared down and infused with his own personality. The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of the castle, a 950-year-old royal residence 20 miles (30 kilometres) west of London, but was shown live on television.
Coronavirus restrictions meant that instead of the 800 mourners expected in the longstanding plans for Philip’s funeral, only 30 people were allowed inside the castle’s St. George’s Chapel, including the queen, her four children and her eight grandchildren.
Following strict social distancing rules during the pandemic, the queen set an example even in grief, sitting apart from family members who were arrayed around the church.
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, sat opposite the monarch alongside his wife, Camilla. Prince Andrew was two seats to the queen’s left. Prince William and his wife, Kate, sat directly opposite from his brother, Prince Harry, who had travelled back from California without his pregnant wife, Meghan.
People across Britain observed one minute of silence in honour of Philip just before the funeral got underway. Under soft spring sunshine, some locals earlier stopped outside the castle to leave flowers, but people largely heeded requests by police and the palace not to gather because of the pandemic.
Philip’s coffin travelled to the chapel on a specially adapted Land Rover designed by the prince himself. The coffin was draped in his personal standard and topped with his Royal Navy cap, sword and a wreath of flowers.
Courtesy: India Today