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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh laid to rest (Photos)

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Prince Philip has been laid to rest in a funeral ceremony that honoured his lifetime of service to the United Kingdom, the crown and his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II.

The widowed British monarch, setting an example amid the coronavirus pandemic, sat alone at the ceremony on Saturday, 17 April, dressed in black and with her head bowed in prayer.

Her family said Prince Philip’s death on April 9 at the age of 99 left a “huge void” in the queen’s life, robbing her of the man she called her “strength and stay”.

The Duke of Edinburgh was honoured at Windsor Castle in a service that was steeped in military and royal tradition but also pared down and infused with his own personality.

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of the castle, a 950-year-old royal residence 30km (20 miles) west of London, but was shown live on television.

Coronavirus restrictions meant that instead of the 800 mourners expected in the longstanding plans for Philip’s funeral, only 30 people were allowed inside the castle’s St George’s Chapel, including the queen, her four children and her eight grandchildren.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, sat opposite the monarch alongside his wife, Camilla.

Prince Andrew was two seats to the queen’s left. Prince William and his wife, Kate, sat directly opposite his brother Prince Harry, who had travelled back from California without his pregnant wife Meghan.

People across the UK observed one minute of silence in honour of Philip just before the funeral got underway.

Some locals earlier stopped outside the castle to leave flowers, but people largely heeded requests by police and the palace not to gather because of the pandemic.

Philip’s coffin travelled to the chapel on a specially adapted Land Rover designed by the prince himself.

The coffin was draped in his personal standard and topped with his Royal Navy cap, sword and a wreath of flowers.

For the procession, senior military commanders lined up in front of the vehicle.

The children of Philip and the queen Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward walked behind the hearse, while the 94-year-old queen travelled to the chapel in a Bentley car.

Grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry also walked behind the coffin, although not side by side.

The brothers, whose relationship has been strained amid Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California, flanked their cousin Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne.

Later, the two brothers were seen walking together and chatting as the mourners left the chapel after the service.

The funeral reflected Philip’s military ties as a ceremonial commander of many units and as a veteran of war.

More than 700 military personnel took part, including army bands, Royal Marine buglers and an honour guard drawn from across the armed forces.

Inside the Gothic chapel, the setting for centuries of royal weddings and funerals, the service was simple and sombre.

The service began with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby entering the chapel ahead of the coffin, followed by Philip’s children and three of his eight grandchildren, as a four-member, socially distanced choir sang “I am the resurrection and the life”.

There was no sermon, at Philip’s request, and no family eulogies or readings, in keeping with royal tradition.

Philip was placed in the vault alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including three kings of England. But it will likely not be his permanent resting place.

After the queen’s death, she and Philip are expected to be buried in the royal burial ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.

Philip was born a prince of Greece and Denmark and, like the queen, is related to a thicket of European royal families.

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