Royal Family mourns Prince Philip with pared down funeral at Windsor Castle amid COVID-19

The Royal family mourned Prince Philip during a toned-down funeral at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
The ceremony for Philip, who died at the age of 99 on April 9, was limited in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions.
Only 30 members of the Royal Family were in attendance. The ceremony lasted only 50 minutes.
Queen Elizabeth II sat alone during the ceremony as she mourned her husband of 73 years.
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Britain’s Prince Charles sheds a tear as he follows the coffin as it makes it’s way past the Round Tower during the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England Saturday April 17, 2021. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP)
Other members of the family, including the couple’s children Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward sat spaced apart in the chapel, donning masks.
The couple’s grandchildren, Prince William and his wife Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince Harry were also in attendance.
Sources said Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle would be watching the ceremony at their home in California.
Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, was not cleared by doctors to fly to Britain for the ceremony.
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Philip, who died just two months shy of his 100th birthday, will be laid to rest in the Royal Vault at Windsor Castle.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrives ahead of Britain Prince Philip\’s funeral at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP)

The service was steeped in military and Royal tradition. Before his death, Philip took part in planning the event, including designing the hearse, a Range Rover, which brought his casket to the chapel.

The service began with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby entering the chapel ahead of the coffin, followed by Philip’s children and three of his eight grandchildren, as a four-member choir sang “I am the resurrection and the life.”

In keeping with Royal tradition, Philip was not eulogized by any members of the Royal Family.

The ceremony did not include a sermon, either, but Dean of Windsor David Conner said the country was enriched by Philip’s “unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.”

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Mourners including, front row from left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Prince Edward, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, during the funeral of Prince Philip, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday, April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP).

The service was saluting both his service in the Royal Navy and his support for Britain’s monarch over three-quarters of a century.

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Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, served in the Royal Navy during World War II.

He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and won mentions during the war for his service aboard the battleship HMS Valiant at Cape Matapan, on Greece’s Peloponnesian peninsula. He rose to the rank of commander before he retired from active duty.

In a speech to mark their 50th wedding anniversary in 2002, the Queen said Philip has “quite simply been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

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Philip served as the Queen’s consort for more than 70 years.

Funeral procession

Philip’s coffin was driven in the Land Rover from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle, to the chapel for the funeral.

Senior military commanders lined up in front of the vehicle.

Members of the Royal Family walked behind the hearse. The procession took approximately eight minutes.

The Queen followed behind in a state Bentley.

(Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP)

Philip’s coffin was draped in his personal standard and topped with his Royal Navy cap and sword and a wreath of flowers.

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Prince William and Prince Harry did not sit together during the ceremony, nor did they walk beside one another to the chapel.

The brothers’ relationship has reportedly been strained since Harry and Meghan decided to step away from their duties as working members of the Royal Family and move to North America.

However, after the ceremony, the brothers were seen walking next to each other and talking as they left the chapel.

Click to play video: 'Prince Philip’s funeral ceremony on April 17'
Prince Philip’s funeral ceremony on April 17

As Philip’s coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, Royal Marine buglers will sound “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle — a personal request from Philip.

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Former Bishop of London Richard Chartres, who knew Philip well, said the prince was a man of faith, but liked things kept succinct.

“He was at home with broad church, high church and low church, but what he really liked was short church.”

“I always remember preaching on occasions in which he was principal actor that the instruction would always come down: `No more than four minutes,”’ Chartres told the BBC.

Click to play video: 'Funeral preparation underway for Prince Philip'
Funeral preparation underway for Prince Philip

On Friday, Buckingham Palace released a private photo of the Queen and Philip.

“The Queen wishes to share this private photograph taken with The Duke Of Edinburgh at the top of the Coyles of Muick, Scotland in 2003,” the tweet read.

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Canada mourns

Speaking during a virtual memorial service on Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  said the Royal Family has lost a “beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

“Canada has lost a great friend,” he said.

Trudeau said Philip was a “patron of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

“He devoted his life to duty and to the people of the commonwealth,” he said. “And in the days following his passing, we’ve heard from countless people across Canada and around the world. They’ve shared their memories, stories and spoken about his impact on the lives and their communities.”

Click to play video: '‘Canada has lost a great friend’: Trudeau pays tribute to Prince Philip'
‘Canada has lost a great friend’: Trudeau pays tribute to Prince Philip

The Prime Minister said Philip was a “man of great service.”

“A man who believed in people and in particular, the young.”

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“He challenged them to do more, to believe in themselves, to push for a better and brighter tomorrow.”

In a statement released earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Trudeau said Canadians were “deeply saddened to hear last week of the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh.”“Our thoughts continue to be with Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family as they mourn the loss of a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather,” he said.Trudeau said to “pay tribute to Prince Philip, and honour his commitment to the success of future generations,” Canada will donate $200,000 to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Click to play video: 'Former governor general Johnston remembers Prince Philip'
Former governor general Johnston remembers Prince Philip
“The Duke of Edinburgh leaves behind a legacy that lives on in the millions of people who pursued a ‘Duke of Ed’ and bettered their lives and the lives of those around them,” the statement read. “As we mourn his loss, we pay tribute to his remarkable life and public service. His lifetime dedication to youth will continue to lift generations to come.”

In a tweet Saturday morning, Toronto Mayor John Tory also shared his condolences.

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“On behalf of Toronto, we extend our greatest thanks for his service and our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and members of the Royal Family,” he wrote.

–With files from The Associated Press

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