Great Britain

Duke of Edinburgh funeral LATEST: Queen bids farewell to Prince Philip with almost 14m Brits tuning in to watch service

THE Queen paid an emotional farewell to her late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, during his funeral on Saturday.

Due to Covid restrictions, the Queen was forced to sit alone inside Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel as she led the Royal Family in mourning at the funeral of her beloved husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

And after yesterday's service, Kate Middleton acted as a peacemaker between Prince Harry and William as they shared a private chat while walking away from Philip's emotional funeral.

The tender reunion after more than a year apart, came after they stood apart to walk behind their grandfather's coffin, and were sat separately in the chapel.

Dressed in a face mask and in sombre black, it was the first time the Queen, grieving for her devoted companion of 73 years, has been officially seen in public since Philip died eight days ago.

And the Duke's coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel - and was broadcast live for the first time in history.

Accompanied by her loyal lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, the Queen made her way from the Sovereign's Entrance in the State Bentley, as the national anthem was played, to join the solemn funeral procession.

Philip's coffin, draped in his striking 12ft personal standard and decorated with a wreath of flowers specially chosen by the monarch, and his Admiral of the Fleet Naval Cap and sword, was carried into St George's Chapel.

It had been lifted into place by Grenadier Guardsmen onto the rear of the dark bronze green Land Rover Defender hearse the duke designed himself.

The Duke's association with the Royal Navy and love of the sea was a focus of the service - but in line with his wishes there was no sermon.

More than 730 members of the armed forces took part in the event, but there is a limit of 30 mourners at St George's Chapel, under Covid rules.

Meanwhile, almost 14 million Brits tuned in to watch the duke's funeral.

The one-hour service was viewed by 11million people on the BBC, 2.1million on ITV and around 450,000 on Sky.

Read our Prince Philip funeral live blog below for the latest updates...

  • GRIEVING MONARCH

    The Queen was joined by other members of the royal family today to mourn the loss of her husband, Prince Philip, and she "couldn’t face going alone", according to a body language expert.

    The 94-year-old monarch watched on while her beloved husband of 73 years was laid to rest during the emotional ceremony at St George's Chapel.

    The Queen sat alone during the service and separate from other members of the Royal family due to Covid restrictions.

    But she sought reassurance from the rest of her family before entering the chapel, which body language expert Judi James said "look terribly poignant".

    "There was one moment when she paused and turned around before entering the chapel and it looked terribly poignant, almost as though she couldn't face going in alone. She turned for what looked like reassurance that her party was behind her," Judi told Mail Online.

  • TOUCHING MOMENT KATE PECKS GRIEF-STRICKEN PRINCE CHARLES ON THE CHEEK AFTER FUNERAL

    The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles shared a touching moment as they left Prince Philip's funeral yesterday afternoon.

    Pictures have emerged showing Kate Middleton kissing the Prince of Wales on the cheek - just moments after he laid his father to rest.

    Trying her best to console him, the photographs show Kate Middleton putting a loving hand around Prince Charles' shoulder.

    She then gives him a quick kiss on the cheek before they all parted ways and left the chapel.


  • BBC COVERAGE OF FUNERAL WATCHED BY ALMOST 7 MILLION

    The BBC's coverage of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was watched by an average of almost seven million people.

    The corporation devoted almost four hours to the event, led by veteran broadcaster Huw Edwards.

    Viewing peaked just after 3pm, as the ceremony started, with 11.3 million people tuning in, the BBC said.

    The one-hour service, between 3pm and 4pm, was viewed by 11 million people on the BBC, 2.1 million on ITV, and around 450,000 on Sky, BBC News reported, citing figures from the official Barb overnight averages for the hour-long time slot.

  • QUEEN'S TOUCHING TRIBUTE

    The Queen chose the flowers for Prince Philip's funeral in a touching tribute to her husband.

    Her Majesty opted for white lilies and small white roses for the wreath on the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin before bidding him a final farewell.

    Also on the duke's wreath were white freesia, white wax flower, white sweet peas and jasmine.  

  • MEGHAN MARKLE WAS 'CLOSE TO PHILIP'

    Meghan Markle's pal has said she "grew very close to Prince Philip over the years" and her "relations with the family will now be smaller" following his death.

    Omid Scobie said the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral yesterday was "a sad day" for the Duchess of Sussex as she watched on from home in the US with Archie.

    He claimed her relationship with Prince Philip and the Queen was "probably her strongest relationship within the family".

    “We know that she’s supporting Harry in this very difficult week for him, but she’ll also be sad because this is also the loss of a family member for her", he told viewers.

  • WHY DID THE QUEEN SIT BY HERSELF AT PRINCE PHILIP'S FUNERAL?

    Heartbreaking images from the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral showing a lonely-looking Queen sitting by herself while she said farewell to the Duke of Edinburgh have been published around the world.

    With the UK still in the grip of the lethal coronavirus pandemic - and restrictions only recently starting to be loosened - Her Majesty was abiding by social distancing rules.

    People must also wear a face covering, as required by law when attending indoor places of worship, crematoriums and burial ground chapels unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons, says the government.

    Mourners attending a funeral have to stay at least two metres from others outside their household or support bubble. When it comes to funerals, the government currently allows a maximum of 30 mourners to attend funerals in England - whether indoors or outdoors. This number does not include anyone working at the funeral.

  • 'STICK ME IN THE BACK'

    Prince Philip’s Land Rover hearse was inspired by an inside joke with the Queen.

    The Duke of Edinburgh’s final journey during his funeral at Windsor yesterday was on the back of a modified Land Rover he helped design rather than a traditional gun carriage.

    This detail was in line with what he had requested as part of Operation Forth Bridge.

    And the idea for the hearse started out as a joke; according to reports from the Mirror, Philip once told the Queen that when he died she should “just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor”.

  • TOGETHER FOREVER

    The Queen "could move to Windsor Castle permanently" to be closer to Prince Philip, a royal insider has claimed.

    The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest in the Royal vault at Windsor Chapel yesterday after a poignant ceremony attended by 30 of his closest family members and friends.

    Speaking to the Daily Express, the source claimed Her Majesty now feels "most comfortable" at Windsor Castle and could remain there for the foreseeable future.

    Although The Queen and Prince Philip used to stay in Windsor for weekends, the royal couple spent most of lockdown in their second home and away from their official residence Buckingham Palace.

    Ahead of her 95th birthday next week, a source told the paper: "The kindest thing to do is to allow her to live where she feels most comfortable."

  • THE ADORABLE NICKNAME PHILIP'S MUM USED IN LOVING LETTERS TO THE DUKE REVEALED

    WE all know that The Queen was always lovingly referred to as "Lilibet" by her family - but it turns out Prince Philip's mother also had a heartwarming pet name for him too.

    Although the Prince was sixth in line to the Greek throne when he was born on 10 June 1921, his family were exiled and the late Duke of Edinburgh was separated from his parents and raised in the UK.

    As the Daily Mail's Hugo Vickers reports, Prince Philip didn't hear from his mother Princess Alice of Battenberg for seven years while he was attending prep school and she was receiving experimental treatment for schizophrenia in Germany.

    When he was 16 years old, the publication reports that he was reunited with his mother - and she would write him letters in which she lovingly referred to him as "Bubbikins".

  • PERSONAL TOUCH

    The Queen paid tribute to her beloved husband of 70 years with six personal touches at his emotional funeral.

    Her Majesty bid farewell to Prince Philip yesterday alongside 29 members of her family and close friends.

    It was a deeply personal service, with details decided by the Duke before his death, and watched by millions across the globe.

    Due to Covid restrictions the mourners were grieving separately, with the Queen sat alone in St George's Chapel gazing at Philip's coffin.

    For more on the story click here.

  • LIGHTER NOTES

    Prince Philip's pen pal of almost four decades has revealed intimate details of private jet trips she took with the late Duke and his mischievous wit.

    Musician Liona Boyd exchanged hundreds of fond letters with Philip for years after the pair "clicked" at an event in the 1970s.

    The 71-year-old described Britain's longest-serving consort as "one of the most wonderful anchors of her life" and has told of the friendship they struck up and maintained for almost 40 years.

    Liona said Prince Philip "always wrote back right away" to the letters she posted - each one spritzed with French perfume.

    "He was very prompt," she told the Mirror.

    "I sent him poetry – he said my lyrics were brilliant. I was thrilled and never took it for granted. He became one of the most wonderful anchors of my life. I loved those trips to the post office, seeing his beautiful stamps."

  • 'DRIVING ME CRACKERS'

    The BBC’s Huw Edwards admitted he was “deeply impacted” by yesterday’s funeral and his presenting left many viewers reaching for the remote.

    The Welshman, 59, was close to tears in the moments after the service.

    And many watching at home thought Huw’s emotions got the better of him and was criticised for talking too much.

    Thousands took to Twitter to say they’d ‘switched to ITV’ due to his ‘constant inane chatter’

    Ruth Nguyen wrote: ‘Huw Edwards just kept talking throughout. Get a grip BBC.’

  • PRINCE PHILIP'S HAND WAS IN 'EVERY DETAIL' OF FUNERAL SAYS ROYAL EXPERT

    Prince Philip's involvement in his funeral service could be "seen in every detail" of the day, said Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

    Speaking to Sky News, Myers said: "For a man like no other, it was a funeral like no other.

    "From the Land Rover that carried his coffin, to the sounding of action stations as he was lowered into the crypt, there was no mistaking the Duke of Edinburgh's hand in every detail."

    He continued: "This was a funeral like no other. It was completely changed from the long-held plans that the Duke and the Queen had made over many, many years.

    "That is because of the coronavirus restrictions in place today. Just 30 mourners allowed in St George's Chapel when we would have expected 800. He spent 16 years designing and conceptualising this Land Rover with the team at the company to carry his coffin. It started off as a joke to the Queen!

    "It was not this huge, huge funeral that one would have expected but ultimately, the Duke of Edinburgh would have wanted that. He didn't want any fuss and it was still a fitting occasion to send off a remarkable life lived."

  • PRINCE PHILIP'S FUNERAL REVEALED FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT THE ROYAL FAMILY AREN'T AFRAID TO SHOW THEIR EMOTIONS SAYS SUN ON SUNDAY

    They were right. This was a royal funeral like no other before.

    The Duke of Edinburgh was yesterday laid to rest in a poignant service which perfectly highlighted his role as his family’s lynchpin for almost three-quarters of a century.

    Covid restrictions meant that the mourners wore masks and social distancing was enforced.

    And not one of the royals wore military uniform as part of a carefully- constructed arrangement overseen by the Queen to banish family tension and controversy — at least for a day.

    For more of the story click here.

  • BACK TO ISOLATION

    Prince Harry is believed to have returned to Frogmore Cottage after reuniting with William at their grandfather's funeral, it has been reported.

    The Duke of Sussex is expected to continue to self isolate after stepping out of his ten day quarantine period for the service at St George's Chapel in Windsor yesterday.

    The Duke of Sussex arrived from the US on Sunday for the funeral and is required to quarantine for ten days upon arrival.

    He has been self isolating in Frogmore Cottage all week but it is believed he was allowed to attend his grandfather's funeral on compassionate grounds.

    Covid rules state he must continue to self isolate, however, at "all other times".

  • PERSONAL COMFORTS

    The Queen carried one of Prince Philip's trademark handkerchiefs and a photo of them together in Malta in her handbag for his funeral, a royal insider has claimed.

    Her Majesty, 94, kept both items in her handbag - an accessory she often uses to hold precious objects.

    Both items hold sentimental value for the Queen and her marriage of more than seven decades to Prince Philip.

    The white, folded square, inserted into the breast pocket of a sharply cut suit, was a strong feature of the Duke’s classic style.

  • FAMILY TIME?

    Prince Charles has plans to take Prince Harry for a walk around Windsor to look at tributes for the Duke of Edinburgh, it was reported today.

    Prince Harry reportedly faced "frostiness" after returning to the UK for the funeral of his grandfather and the Duke of Sussex could return to California as soon as tomorrow.

    But sources have claimed Charles will take the opportunity of Harry’s time at home for some father-son bonding.

    Royal insiders have told The Mail On Sunday that he intends to spend some time with the Duke of Sussex this week.

    They said: “There has been talk that Charles will walk around Windsor with Harry to look at some of the tributes and spend some time together.”

  • HEARTBREAKING SHOT

    It is an image which will break a nation’s heart. The Queen — flanked for 73 years by her companion, her soulmate, her “strength and stay” — saying goodbye to him, alone, writes Peny Junor...

    But the Monarch truly is the most remarkable woman. 

    The sheer stoicism she showed at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral needed to be seen to be believed as she sat in isolation in St George’s Chapel due to Covid restrictions.

    Yes, a rare tear that she quickly wiped away did fall, but the ­bravery she summoned today was inspirational.

    Alone with her thoughts and memories in the chapel for ten full minutes before the service began, this tiny figure in black, a mask obscuring her face, looked almost lost in those seemingly giant pews.

  • QUEEN SHARES PRIVATE PIC OF HER AND LATE HUSBAND

    Her Majesty shared a candid photograph of herself and Prince Philip on the Scottish Highlands before she bid a final farewell to her husband of 73 years.

    Taken by Prince Edward's wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex in 2003, the image shows the royal couple smiling while relaxing in the sunshine.

    The Queen released the picture of the duke at the top of the Coyles of Muick on the eve of his funeral, which was held yesterday at Windsor.

    Looking completely at ease and smiling warmly, Philip and the Queen are seen appearing relaxed on the grass at the beauty spot near the town of Ballater in Aberdeenshire.

    The duke lies back on a rug, propping himself up on his left elbow and has jauntily placed his hat on his right knee.

  • WHO IS EXPECTED TO HAVE ATTENDED PRINCE PHILIP'S POTENTIAL WAKE?

    Although Philip's burial was broadcast live on television, any family commemorative events held to honour the 99-year-old's life have not been publicly disclosed.

    But who would make the cut to the wake amid the 15-person Covid restrictions?

    The couple's four children, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward were expected to attend the possible reception after the afternoon service.

    The majority of Prince Philip's grandchildren - Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall - are also likely attendees.

    Camilla, Kate Middleton, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are also thought to have made the potential list, while the final place could be taken by the Queen's first cousin, Princess Alexandra.

  • WHO SANG AT PHILIP'S FUNERAL?

    Despite Covid restrictions putting a ban on singing during the service, a choir were still permitted to perform at the funeral of Prince Philip yesterday.

    The foursome consisted of soprano Miriam Allan and lay clarks Tom Liliburn, Nick Madden and Simon Whiteley - the latter three being Lay Clerks at St George's Chapel Choir.

    It was conducted by James Vivian and accompanied by organ music played by Luke Bond.

    During the funeral, hymns such as The Sentences, The Lesser Litany and Eternal Father, Strong To Save were sung.

  • PRINCE PHILIP FUNERAL - PRINCE CHARLES FIGHTS BACK TEARS AS FUNERAL PROCESSION ARRIVES AT ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL

    Prince Philip funeral - Prince Charles fights back tears as funeral procession arrives at St. George's Chapel
  • SECOND WORLD WAR VETERAN WHO FOUGHT ALONGSIDE PHILIP WATCHES FUNERAL IN UNIFORM

    A Second World War veteran who fought alongside the Duke of Edinburgh watched the funeral dressed in his Royal Navy uniform in tribute.

    Malcolm Clerc, 94, watched the historic event on television at his home in Knutsford, Cheshire, on Saturday.

    Mr Clerc joined the Royal Navy aged 15 and served as a petty officer stationed in Guam, a US island territory in the western Pacific.

    His daughter, Sally Clerc, 54, said he met Philip on several occasions during the Second World War and at events ever since.

    She told the PA news agency: "He was on the ship with Philip Mountbatten, as he would have been called then, they spent some time together.

    "They shared a couple of interesting experiences over that time."

  • NINE-YEAR-OLD BOY WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WEARS BOWLER HAT AND TIE FOR DUKE'S FUNERAL

    A nine-year-old who has special needs and is paralysed from the chest down donned a bowler hat, shirt and tie at home to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

    Noah Wall, from Carlisle, Cumbria, has severe spina bifida and special needs as a result of a rare condition which meant he was born with just a small part of his brain.

    Noah is a patron of Variety, the Children's Charity, which Philip co-founded, and said he felt "proud to be British" watching the funeral.

    "Today is a sad day as it's Prince Philip's funeral, I feel very sad also for my Queen, but I also feel proud to be British too," Noah told the PA news agency.

    Noah's mother, Shelly Wall, said Noah was "so shocked" by Philip's death, but recognised the situation from his grandfather's funeral when he was five - when he also wore his bowler hat outfit.

  • UNIQUE TELEVISED MOMENT OF COFFIN BEING LOWERED INTO THE ROYAL VAULT

    The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin descended into the Royal Vault during his funeral service, lowered by an electric motor.

    It was a moment never seen before on television, with Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, describing it as "unique in British royal history".

    Usually, the movement of the coffin into the vault beneath the floor of the Quire of St George's Chapel would take place in private.

    But for Philip's funeral, the coffin began to move down incredibly slowly, as the Dean of Windsor read the Commendation and the Garter King of Arms proclaimed the lengthy list of the duke's regal styles and titles.

    Part of the lowering was filmed by the BBC cameras, which moved away at times to focus on other elements, including the Garter King of Arms, a piper's lament, and the Actions Stations naval battle cry by buglers.

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