Grace and sorrow as Prince Philip rests

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Queen Elizabeth II said goodbye to her Prince Philip during her funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday, alone on her bench but joined in grief by the royals and millions watching across the world.

For seven decades she has been ruler of her kingdoms, but Elizabeth – who seemed to wipe a tear before the service – seemed poignantly small under the echoing stones of St. George’s Chapel, lowering her head to mourn her husband. beloved of 73 years. , as could widows of any rank and fortune.

Only 30 mourners dressed in black were allowed inside the medieval chapel on the grounds of the 950-year-old castle for the final farewell and royal vault burial of Philip, who died on April 9 at the age of 99 .

The Queen, 94, was sitting alone due to strict social distancing restrictions, but near her four children – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward – were seated in groups with their own children .

Prince Andrew, center, Prince Harry and Prince Edward in the procession before the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England on April 17, 2021.
Prince Andrew, center, Prince Harry and Prince Edward in the procession ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.
AP

Charles, 72, the future king, held back tears as he led the procession on foot of his father’s coffin from castle to church.

He and his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, cried again during the low-key service, which began at 3 p.m. after a minute of silence observed across the UK.

Prince Charles follows the coffin of his father, British Prince Philip, to the funeral at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England on April 17, 2021.
Prince Charles follows the coffin of his father, Prince Philip, to the funeral at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England on April 17, 2021.
Hannah McKay / Pools via AP

“We were inspired by her unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by her service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by her courage, courage and faith,” said Windsor Dean David Conner in his call to prayer .

Perhaps the greatest mystery of the intimate ceremony – would there be frost or tenderness between Charles’ two rival sons, Prince William, a future king, and his renouncing brother Prince Harry – proceeded with quiet dignity.

Prince William and Prince Harry at the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip on April 17, 2021.
Prince William and Prince Harry at the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip on April 17, 2021.
BACKGRID

William, 38, and Harry, 36, had walked to church separated by their cousin, Peter Phillips, and sat separately throughout the 50-minute service.

But the brothers – not seen together in public since last year’s Megxit Rift – then chatted amicably as they left the chapel alongside William’s wife, Kate Middleton.

The future Queen Consort, 39, paid a silent tribute with her jewelry, wearing diamond earrings borrowed from the Queen that were given to Elizabeth by Philip for their wedding in 1947.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, center, arrives to attend the funeral of British Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England on Saturday April 17, 2021.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, center, arrives to attend Prince Philip’s funeral inside Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.
Chris Jackson / Pools via AP

Harry’s wife Meghan Markle, who is seven months pregnant with their second child, a daughter, has remained at home in Los Angeles.

Markle watched the funeral like everyone else – on television – although she sent a wreath and a handwritten card to the chapel.

“They know it’s not about them Saturday – it’s about honoring the memory of their grandfather and supporting their grandmother,” a royal source previously told the Daily Telegraph.

Philip – the longest-serving husband in British history – was a tireless supporter of the monarchy, a popular participant in tens of thousands of public engagements.

On another day, the church would have been full and the procession of its coffin crowded with onlookers.

On Saturday, a modest group of several hundred people lined the streets near the castle, some wearing masks in his image.

Despite the small list of attendees, royal watchers analyzed every step, every look, and every jewel of their televisions, from the time Philip’s coffin was carried from the palace by eight footmen.

Members of the royal family, led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne, lined up behind the vehicle to walk in procession.
Members of the Royal Family, led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne, lined up behind the hearse carrying Prince Philip’s coffin.
Piscine WPA / Getty Images

Throughout their marriage, Philip had followed the Queen in accordance with royal protocol. But the Queen followed the funeral procession in her Bentley on Saturday – and it was inside the car that she appeared to dab her eyes with her black-gloved hand.

She stayed behind her husband’s hearse and walkers, rather than in front of them where a monarch would normally be, as if letting him lead her, for a change and for their last procession together.

Philip, who had been recognized for his bravery during World War II, was a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy and his coffin was adorned with his hat and sword.

The hearse had been personally chosen by Philip, a military green electric-powered Land Rover he had designed himself.

“Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover,” he would have joked to Elizabeth, who had honored his wish.

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