When Prince Philip’s many noble titles were recited at the end of his funeral, one stood out from the rest of the polite and stately orders and ranks: “Husband of His Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth II”.
It was his greatest job, the one for which we owe him the most.
Together, they won Majesty much earlier in their lives than they had expected or hoped for.
From that moment on, they could not take a step that was neither observed nor judged.
In a decade after a decade of global unrest and national reassessment, they were still at the center of the rotating world.
And together, they found their way into the hearts and minds of their people, reassuring and stable when they often had to be full of doubts and mistrust.
And it was always “They”.
When Prince Philip’s many noble titles were recited at the end of his funeral, one stood out from the rest of the polite and stately orders and ranks: “Husband of His Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth II”. It was his greatest job, the one for which we owe him the most
Now the Queen must reign without her strength and stay, a sad fact that millions of viewers have conveyed to millions of viewers with glimpses of her loneliness at the Duke’s funeral, prevented by social distancing from receiving immediate comfort from his family.
Never has she needed the loyalty and prayers of her people more, facing doing alone what she has done for most of her life in the company of a brave, funny, wise and experienced wife.
It might also be a good time to suggest to some lost members of the Royal Household that they could now put their differences aside for a greater purpose.
For almost 70 years we have needed our queen. Now she needs us.
We must govern ourselves better, in courtesy, mutual kindness, patience, tolerance and wisdom, to lighten the burden on it.
This is surely what we learned most from the muted ceremony in Windsor, which, with its face masks and empty seats, wasn’t really big enough to score such a big loss, despite all the beauty and beauty. reverence for service.
Queen Elizabeth II (top right) and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby watch the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin being carried into St George’s Chapel
The Queen and Prince Philip are seen together in 2007 in a photo that marked their diamond wedding anniversary
Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh are pictured in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle last year ahead of her 99th birthday
What we have also learned is that the world that so many of us have known, and perhaps considered to be permanent, is disappearing for better or for worse.
It was a ceremony rich in the language, music and traditions of an older Britain, a country without nationalisms, vigorous hymns, self-confidence, naval might, global significance, smooth lawns and sun on old stones.
But as Prince Philip realized a long time ago, there is no guarantee that such things will continue.
Nations that seem lucky only do so because they work hard for the things that bring good fortune.
Her Majesty stands alone with her head bowed in the chapel as her husband’s coffin has been transported to the church for burial
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Snowdon David Armstrong-Jones, Peter Phillips, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence prepare to leave the castle behind the coffin
We must relearn each new generation how to ensure that we remain peaceful, united, free, prosperous and well defended.
Likewise, our luck in having a stable monarchy, which held us together and lifted our spirits through many setbacks, came from our willingness to be loyal to it.
New times are coming.
One of the most moving moments of the service was when a lone bagpiper, playing a lament, walked sadly out of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, slowly passing out of sight and sound until what he is no longer heard and seen – like those who go before us from life to death too.
We must surely learn, saying goodbye to what we knew and loved, that the times in which we are now living will one day be distant.
And that we have inherited a great treasure from our ancestors, which it is our duty to pass on to those who are not yet born, who will come after us.