The British Royal Family attended the Thanksgiving Service for the life of Prince Philip. The much loved, Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 09th in 2021, two months before his 100th birthday, peacefully at Windsor Castle, where he was living at that time with The Queen. The service is being held to pay tribute and celebrate Prince’s life.
The service included poignant musical selections and floral arrangements inspired by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding day. Flowers at the service will be arranged in shades of red, white, and blue and will include roses, carnations, eryngium (sea holly), and dendrobium orchids. Orchids featured in The Queen’s wedding bouquet and sea holly echo The Duke’s career in the Navy and affection for the sea.
The service was originally planned for an hour but was scaled down to 40 minutes so that Her Majesty The Queen can attend.
The Queen was joined by the Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke, and Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne, Mike, and Zara Tindall, Peter Phillips, The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn, The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Mr. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and Mr. Jack Brooksbankand.
The Queen and Prince Philip’s older great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Islah, and Savannah Phillips, Mia Tindall was in attendance. Special arrangements were made to make it more comfortable for the 95 years old Queen.
She will be brought in by a side entrance beside Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey and walk, possibly with the aid of a walking stick, to her place to avoid the much longer walk from the Great West Door to the far end of the nave where the Royal Family sit. Officials had discussed bringing in a more comfortable seat for her but it was decided yesterday that she will sit in one of the two Canada Chairs always used by the sovereign or the most senior member of the Royal Family at services in the Abbey.
The Venetian-style chairs made from Canadian birch and presented by the Canada Club to the Abbey in 1949 in memory of Canadians who fell in the Second World War, have comfortable cushions to ease any discomfort she might experience.
Paying their tribute to the Duke would be many European Monarchs i.e. King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of BelgiumKing Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of Netherlands, King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Herald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Prince Albert of Monaco, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Crown Prince and Princess of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Prince Philippos and Princess Nina of Greece, Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown and Prince Radu of Romania, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia and Prince Kyril of Preslav.
About the service, Buckingham Palace said,
Members of the Royal Family and representatives of His Royal Highness’s many charities and interests with gather at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the life and work of this extraordinary public figure The Service will give thanks for His Royal Highness’s dedication to his family, to the Nation and to the Commonwealth as both Consort to Queen and a working member of the Royal Family in his own right. The event will also recognise the importance of The Duke’s legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promoting environmental stewardship and conservation, and supporting the Armed Forces.
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In Westminster Abbey, where he made promises that defined life of willing duty and spirited service, we give thanks for His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A man of rare ability and distinction rightly honored and celebrated, he ever directed our attention away from himself. He put privilege to work and understood his rank as a spur to service. Working at pace, with so many claims on his attention, he encouraged us to focus, as he was focused, on the things that matter.
His was a discipline and character that seized the opportunity and overcame obstruction and difficulty. We recall, with affection and respect, the sustained offering of a long life lived fully. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, founded by His Royal Highness in 1956, will feature prominently in the Service, with a Tribute to be given by a Gold Award Holder. In recognition of The Duke of Edinburgh’s long-held relationship with the Armed Forces, the Band of the Royal Marines will provide music before and after the Service. The Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choirs will provide music during the Service.
Born on 10th June 1921, in Mon Repos, Corfu, Greece Prince Philip was the Prince of Greece and Denmark by birth. His family was exiled from the country when he was eighteen months old. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the Royal Navy in 1939, when he was 18 years old.
Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth first met in 1934. In 1939, they started a correspondence that lasted many years. In 1946, he proposed to Princess Elizabeth but King George VI asked them to wait for marriage until Elizabeth turns 21.
The official announcement of their engagement was made in July 1947. Philip relinquished his Greek and Danish royal titles and styles became a naturalized British subject and adopted his maternal grandparents’ surname Mountbatten.
Philip and Elizabeth got married on 20 November 1947. Upon, Princess Elizabeth’s accession to the throne on 6 February 1952 made Prince Philip her Consort. He remained that until his death in 2021, making him the longest-serving royal consort in history.
At The Queen’s Coronation in 1953, The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty’s ‘liege man of life and limb.’ In 1953 The Duke of Edinburgh was the first peer to ‘do homage’ or pay his respects to The Queen, immediately after the Archbishops and Bishops.
I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God.
The role of The Queen’s consort is primarily to provide companionship and moral and practical support to the Monarch. The consort does not hold a formal position in the structure of government and The Duke did not see State papers or hold official audiences. However, Prince Philip established a significant role for himself in his own right, creating an extensive and important portfolio, based on his personal interests, all of which he carried out in support of Her Majesty’s duties.
On his own, he traveled all over the world, often representing The Queen during visits to remote parts of the Commonwealth which could only be reached by sea and where the arrival of Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia was greeted with great enthusiasm. In 2017, Her Majesty appointed The Duke of Edinburgh to be a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in recognition of his years of service.
Prince Philip retired from Royal duties on August 02nd, 2017 at the age of 95 having completed 22,219 solo engagements and 5,493 speeches from 1952. A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president, or member of over 780 organizations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, and served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a youth awards program for people aged 14 to 24. Philip was the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. He retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements and 5,493 speeches from 1952.
He moved out of Buckingham Palace and Wood Farm Cottage on The Queen’s Sandringham Estate his residence. Where he spent quality time with Cambridge kids who also have a home on the same estate. In 2020, when the pandemic began, The Duke moved to Windsor Castle to be near The Queen. The couple stayed together at Windsor Castle until his last breath. Recently, The 95 years Queen has also announced that she will stay permanently at Windsor Castle and will travel o Buckingham Palace only when required.
Speaking about her husband, The Queen said on her Golden Wedding anniversary –
He 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
In 2021 due to the pandemic, The funeral service was much scaled back but still fulfilled the last wishes of the Iron Duke. Only immediate family members attended the funeral as at that time the limit was 30 persons indoors.
Today’s service gave The Queen, members of the Royal Family, friends, his patronages and organizations, and people from the Commonwealth an opportunity to pay their tribute. From people’s reports,
According to the palace, the Queen has been actively involved in the plans for Tuesday’s Service of Thanksgiving, with many elements reflecting her wishes. The service on Tuesday will incorporate several elements that had initially been planned for Philip’s funeral that had to be scrapped due to COVID restrictions in place at the time.
There will also be poignant details in place to honor Philip. The floral arrangements will include white dendrobium orchids, which were part of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet in 1947, and sea holly, which echoes the Duke of Edinburgh’s career in the Navy and a lifelong love of the sea.
The congregation will sing a hymn that was chosen by Prince Philip to be played at his funeral. Due to COVID-19 government guidelines last year, there was no congregational singing at the funeral service.
It was also Prince Philip’s wish that clergy from the royal estates of Windsor, Sandringham, and Balmoral play a part in his funeral service, given his active role in the day-to-day management of the estates. Since their attendance wasn’t possible last year due to restrictions in place, members of the various estate’s clergy will offer prayers at the Service of Thanksgiving.
Following the service, the Abbey bell ringers are ringing 699 changes of Stedman Caters. pic.twitter.com/VY3w1fzDp2
— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) March 29, 2022
The Queen had stood with tears in her eyes as the 1,800-strong congregation sang Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer before the bells of Westminster Abbey rang out to mark the end of the memorial service in the central London church where she was crowned just over 70 years ago.
The service was a lovely event and I am glad the family was able to pay their respect to the man who was an inspiration to so many people around the globe in a much-deserved way. He will always be remembered.