Tobi Soniyi with Agency Reports
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, was yesterday, laid to rest amid an outpouring of tributes and gun salutes in an intimate funeral at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
At the event, according to BBC reports, the Queen said goodbye to her husband of 73 years.
Clad in black with a facemask to match, the Queen sat alone due to coronavirus restrictions – distanced from the congregation that also wore facemasks.
A small group of Philip’s close family and friends attended the televised funeral service, which began with a national minute’s silence at 3pm, while the duke’s children walked behind his coffin in a funeral procession.
More than 730 members of the armed forces took part in the event, but there was a limit of 30 mourners inside St George’s Chapel, with observance of the Covid-19 rules.
Prince Philip died at Windsor Castle on Friday, April 9 and was aged 99.
His coffin was carried a short distance to St George’s Chapel on a modified Land Rover, which the duke himself helped to design.
The funeral procession was headed by the Band of the Grenadier Guards, the Major General’s party, and military service chiefs.
Princess Anne and Prince Charles made up the front row behind the vehicle, followed by Prince Edward and Prince Andrew.
Princes William and Harry walked either side of their cousin, Peter Phillips.
The brothers sat on opposite sides of the aisle but were seen chatting together after they left the service.
Vice Admiral, Sir Timothy Laurence and the Earl of Snowdon also walked behind the coffin, trailed by members of the duke’s household staff.
The 94 years old Queen travelled with a lady-in-waiting in the state Bentley at the end of the procession.
A ceremonial gun fire at nine locations across the UK and in Gibraltar marked the start and end of the national minute’s silence.
No planes landed or took off at Heathrow for six minutes to coincide with the silence and all major sporting events were rescheduled to avoid a clash with the funeral.
The funeral service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, Rev. David Conner, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, pronouncing the blessing.
Conner paid tribute to Prince Philip’s “kindness, humour and humanity” and the “many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us”.
According to him, “We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith,” he said during his bidding.
The duke’s association with the Royal Navy and love of the sea was also a focus of the service but no sermon was delivered, in line with his wishes.
e music included the 1860 hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save, by William Whiting, which is associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services.
There was a reduced choir of four singers but the congregation did not sing, in line with coronavirus restrictions.
Buglers of the Royal Marines sounded Action Stations – a signal that all hands should be ready for battle – as the coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault at the end of the service.