Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family have said their final goodbyes to The Duke of Edinburgh as his funeral took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
As the nation, the Commonwealth and the world said goodbye to The Duke of Edinburgh, it is clear that this event really was a moment in history and will be remembered for generations to come.
The proceedings took place within the grounds of Windsor Castle and were broadcast on television. Spectators were not allowed and only 30 members of the immediate Royal Family were able to attend.
At around 2.20pm, members of The Royal Family who were attending the service and not in the procession began to arrive at St George’s Chapel. These family members included The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
At 2.27pm, the military band in the quadrangle began to play music as the specially modified Land Rover – designed by Prince Philip himself – arrived in the quadrangle too. The Duke of Edinburgh spent 16 years designing and modifying the Land Rover.
Just eleven minutes later, The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was lifted by members of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards as the band music stopped.
At 2.41pm, The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin emerged from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle along with members of the procession including The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, The Princess Royal and The Earl of Wessex. As the coffin was placed on the specially modified Land Rover, a royal salute was made. The original plans made under Operation Forth Bridge meant the Land Rover would have made a 22 mile journey from Wellington Arch in Central London to Windsor. COVID-19 has meant original plans have been altered.
The Queen departed the Sovereign’s Entrance at 2.44pm in the State Bentley and the national anthem was played. As the vehicle reached the rear of the procession it paused momentarily.
The procession set off at 2.45pm led by the Heads of the various Armed Forces and other senior military figures. The procession of Royal Family members followed behind as well as various members of Prince Philip’s household. Along the procession route were representatives from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and Royal Air Force.
Each minute, guns were fired from the East Lawn of Windsor Castle by the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The Curfew Tower bell also tolled.
The procession took around eight minutes and passed the north side of the Round Tower.
At the end of the procession, The Queen entered St George’s Chapel alongside the Dean of Windsor.
A Guard of Honour and Band from the Rifles played the national anthem as Prince Philip’s coffin entered St George’s Chapel. The coffin came to a stop at the foot of the West Steps of the Chapel.
At 3pm, the coffin was carried to the Porch of the Chapel and paused for a national one-minutes silence. Those members of The Royal Family that were in the procession paused at the bottom of the West Steps.
At 3.01pm, The Dean of Windsor and The Archbishop of Canterbury received The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin inside St George’s Chapel. The majority of the procession did not enter the Chapel, only members of The Royal Family and the Duke’s Private Secretary, Archie Miller Bakewell.
The service began as the coffin entered the Chapel and members of The Royal Family took their seats.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, members of The Royal Family had to sit apart. The Queen was sat alone and two metres away from other members of The Royal Family.
The service lasted around 50 minutes and the Dean of Windsor gave the commendation as The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was lowered into the Royal vault.
A lament was then played by a Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland as the Piper walked from the North Quire Aisle to the Dean’s Cloister. The Last Post was also sounded by buglers of the Royal Marines from the West End of the Nave.
Following a short period of silence, the Reveille was sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry. The buglers of the Royal Marines sounded Action Stations as a personal request from The Duke of Edinburgh. The Archbishop of Canterbury pronounced the blessing before the national anthem was sung by the four singers present.
The Queen and members of The Royal Family then departed St George’s Chapel via the Galilee Porch.
Prior to the funeral, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson commented, “The plans have been given final approval by The Queen and reflect appropriately Government advice. Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognise the Duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to The Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth.”
Royal Circular says:
“As we say goodbye one final time to The Duke of Edinburgh, we remember a man who has given a lifetime of service to Her Majesty The Queen, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. His legacy will live on through The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme as well as through the continuing work of The Royal Family. Since 1952, a second Elizabethan era has been upon this nation and while the reign of Queen Elizabeth II will go down in history as one of the greatest and most prosperous this country has ever seen, the impact of Prince Philip on that modern Elizabethan reign will take it’s own place in the history books.”
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – 1921 – 2021.