Philip’s ‘unwavering loyalty’ to Queen to be hailed at funeral

THE Duke of Edinburgh’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen and his “courage, fortitude and faith” will be marked at his funeral.

After 73 years of marriage, the Queen will say farewell to Philip during a televised funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, attended by a small group of close family and friends.

COVID regulations have reduced the scope of the service with public elements cancelled, mourners reduced from around 800 to just 30, and all guests wearing face masks and sitting apart.

A touching photograph of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh giving a glimpse of their lives away from protocol and ceremony was released on the eve of Philip’s funeral.

The royal couple are pictured as they are rarely seen – relaxing together during a summer break and enjoying the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands on the Balmoral estate.

Looking completely at ease and smiling warmly at the photographer, Philip and the Queen relax on the grass at the Coyles of Muick, a 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.

Beaming at the Countess of Wessex – who took the picture in 2003 – the Queen, dressed in a tartan skirt, blouse and cardigan and a string of pearls, also sits on a rug.

The area is clearly a favourite spot for the Queen as she has named a corgi puppy, recently given to the monarch, Muick and it has a dorgi puppy playmate called Fergus – another Scottish name.

No sermon will be delivered during the ceremonial royal service on Saturday afternoon, in keeping with Philip’s wishes.

His love of the sea and long association with the Royal Navy permeates the Order of Service, with the music chosen by the duke including the hymn Eternal Father, Strong To Save – traditionally associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services.

The Prince of Wales and Princess Royal will lead the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and other family members walking behind the duke’s coffin, carried on a Land Rover hearse he helped design, during the funeral procession which the Queen will join, travelling by car.

Royal brothers the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex will not walk shoulder to shoulder but with their cousin Peter Phillips between them.

Philip’s love of carriage-driving will be a poignant feature of his funeral, with his carriage, which he designed, and ponies making an appearance.

The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage, accompanied by two of Philip’s grooms, will stand in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle as the duke’s coffin is carried past in the procession.

Among the mourners will be the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Wessex and her children Viscount Severn and Lady Louise.

Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank have been invited.

Also attending will be the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, three of Philip’s German relatives and his close friend Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno