It has been almost a year since Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, passed away. Due to Covid-19, his funeral in April 2021 had only brought together around thirty people. But with restrictions lifted, the Duke of Edinburgh’s relatives, 500 guests, were finally able to pay their respects at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 29 March 2022.
Inside the building were several members of the royal family around Queen Elizabeth II, who wore a green cloak, the color of Scotland, in homage to Prince Philip’s heritage. Princess Anne and Camilla Parker-Bowles, wife of Prince Charles, also wore the colors of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The queen was moved to tears
The contrast is stark. Very few people attended Prince Philip’s funeral on April 17, 2021 and the Queen was even photographed. alone, in front of her husband’s coffinin Windsor Chapel.
On Tuesday, 500 people gathered around the Queen for this thanksgiving service. At his side Prince Charles, but also Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie… a beautiful gathering.
The monarch, who will turn 96 in April, had left some doubts about her presence in Westminster. Recently and since his hospitalization in October 2021 Elizabeth II has drastically reduced her public appearances and business trips for health reasons. But about an hour before the service began, Buckingham Palace confirmed his presence.
The ceremony lasted about 40 minutes. At the end how the congregation sang Lead me, oh great RedeemerQueen Elizabeth II was filmed by the BBC, Tears in the eyes. She was then photographed in her car, her face still emotional.
A sequence that angered the British. The next day that Daily Mail Caption: “The Queen’s Tears for Philip”.
Harry absent, Andrew present
The presence of a member of the royal family was also surprising at the gathering. It’s that of Prince Andrew, who played a key role in the ceremony. He had retired from public life since being accused by Virginia Giuffre of sexual assault and his friendship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The court case was concluded by a financial agreement between the two parties, Prince Andrew has been chosen to escort the Queen from Windsor Castle to the Abbey. The two crowned heads arrived via a second entrance, via Poets Corner, allowing for a shorter route to the Queen’s seat.
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Elizabeth II leaned on the arm of her supposed favorite son and also used a walking stick.
Monarchs from all over Europe were present. There was King Felipe of Spain, Prince Rainier of Monaco, minus Charlene, who was still recovering, and Philippe, King of the Belgians.
A large absence was noted. Prince Harry stayed in California with his wife Meghan Markle and their two children Archie and Lili Diana. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not explain their absence.
This could be explained by a simple logistical issue. Since their final retirement from the royal family, the couple has no longer enjoyed the protection of Scotland Yard. On his recent visit to England for the dedication of Diana Spencer’s statue, Prince Harry felt his safety was not adequately assured.
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