Members of the royal family all gathered at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday for a memorial service that celebrated the life of the Duke Of Edinburgh, who died almost a year ago in April 2021.
The Queen only confirmed her attendance on the morning of the ceremony and was accompanied by Prince Andrew in his first appearance since he settled his sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre.
Many will remember Prince Philip’s funeral last year, where the Queen sat alone in the Abbey’s pew due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions while politicians at Downing Street hosted illegal parties. Today’s memorial service was an opportunity for the Queen to celebrate her late husband in a larger ceremony, with 1,800 invited – including Boris Johnson.
Prince Philip’s memorial is the first major event the Queen has been to this year after pulling out of the Commonwealth Service because of mobility issues and testing positive for Covid in February, which sparked a slew of very bizarre death rumours.
To keep the Queen comfy at the service special measures were put in place, including keeping the memorial run time to 45 minutes and letting her arrive through the back door of the Abbey so she had a shorter route to her seat.
Among attendees at the memorial service were Kate and Will, who attended with their George and Charlotte after returning from a turbulent tour of the Caribbean. The Cambridges were sat in the row behind the Queen, while Prince Charles and Princess Anne sat across from her.
Harry and Meghan didn’t attend the ceremony after citing safety concerns as their reasons for not flying over. However, given that Harry will be travelling to the Netherlands in April for the Invictus Games (the international sports event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen), some royal experts believe the no show is really a silent retaliation against the Royal Family (more on that here).
Prince Philip’s long-term friend, Dean of Windsor David Conner (who conducted his funeral) told attendees: ‘He could show great sympathy and kindness. There is no doubt that he had a delightfully engaging, and often self-deprecating, sense of humour. It is quite clear that his mind held together both speculation and common sense. Moreover, nobody would ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to our Queen and to their family.’