Duke of Edinburgh funeral LATEST: Charles becomes family patriarch after 14M watched Queen bid farewell to Prince Philip

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…

  • Joseph Gamp


    The wreath featured acanthus mollis, or Bear’s breeches, which is the national flower of Greece, representing Philip’s heritage, and Eryngium, or sea holly, in a nod to his time with the Royal Marines.

    It also included campanula, which signifies gratitude and everlasting love, as well as rosemary to signify remembrance.

    Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, also selected lavender for devotion and roses in honour of June, which is Philip’s birth month.

    Willow Crossley is said to have hand-made the wreath, who also arranged the flowers for the couple’s evening wedding celebrations in Frogmore Gardens and for the Sussexes’ son Archie’s christening.

  • Joseph Gamp


    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 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”.

  • Joseph Gamp


    “This butler said that the Queen would be running up the stairs and he’d be chasing her up the stairs like teenagers. 

    “I think there was a chemistry which was always there.”

    The Queen and Prince Philip shared a vivacious romance spanning more than seven decades, becoming the first couple in the Royal Family to celebrate their Platinum Wedding anniversary in 2017.

    The Duke stood by the Queen's side from day one and even gave up his distinguished military career in 1953 when his wife ascended the throne.

    The couple had four children together – Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – before becoming grandparents and later great-grandparents.

  • Joseph Gamp


    PRINCE Philip "would chase the Queen up the stairs like teenagers" during romantic getaways even after they had three children, according to a royal author.

    The couple would "regularly" go to Broadlands in Hampshire – where they honeymooned – with things said to get "very frisky" during their stays.

    The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh spent their wedding night at the home of Philip's uncle, Earl Mountbatten, on November 20, 1947, and often returned for overnight visits. By 1960 the couple already had three children – but their spark was still very much alight.

    Speaking on ABC's podcast The HeirPod, royal expert Robert Jobson said the much-loved pair had a "chemistry which was always there".

    “There was a story, even after they had three children -maybe even four – they used to regularly go down to Broadlands where they honeymooned, and there was a butler there who used to work for Mountbatten, and he said it was all very frisky when they were down there," he told host Omid Scobie.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Almost 14 million people watched Prince Philip's funeral on the BBC, ITV and Sky – one million more than tuned in for Harry and Meghan's chat with Oprah Winfrey.

    The Beeb's live coverage, fronted by veteran newsreader Huw Edwards, pulled in more than 11 million viewers at its peak which was five times that of ITV.

    ITV's peak viewing figures topped 2.1 million during Saturday afternoon's sombre ceremony which was less than a third of the BBC's average viewing figures stats of 6.6 million, reports the Press Association.

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

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    The Queen's car has been seen leaving Windsor Castle a day after Prince Philip's funeral – as the Royal Family continues to mourn.

    Guards were seen standing to attention as it moved down the driveway just before 3pm, 24 hours after a poignant minute's silence was held.

    It came just after Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank were also seen driving out of the grounds a day on from the emotional service.

    Yesterday they joined the Queen and 27 mourners to say goodbye to the Duke of Edinburgh – who died on April 9 aged 99.

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

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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.

  • Dan Keane


    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.

  • Dan Keane


    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.  

    Credit: AFP
  • Dan Keane


    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.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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”.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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."

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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".

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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."

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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.’

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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."

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    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.

  • Ellie Cambridge


    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".

  • Ellie Cambridge


    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.

  • Ellie Cambridge


    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.”

  • Ellie Cambridge


    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.

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