When Prince Philip died on April 9, 2021, the royal family had decided to organize a less grandiose ceremony than what would have been put in place if the country had not faced an unprecedented pandemic. A new tribute takes place this Tuesday for the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and the scale of the event is much greater (even if the Covid-19 is on the rise , in Great Britain as in the rest of the world).
Indeed, the queen decided to come at the last minute this morning, from Windsor Castle, where she now lives. Elizabeth II experienced several health concerns , particularly concerning her mobility, which forced her to cancel her obligations. This is her first official outing in five months and she traveled in the same car as Prince Andrew .
A choice of traveling companion far from trivial on the part of the monarch. It is indeed the first public appearance of his son since the accusations of sexual assault in the Epstein affair and the financial agreement he made to put an end to it. On the other hand, the queen’s grandson, Harry , did not make the trip. A decision taken by the Duke of Sussex himself, when he claims to be able to hire the services of the police to ensure his safety in addition to his own private order service. A request so far refused by the government of Boris Johnson.
According to Town & Country magazine , the Queen has been actively involved in the organization of this commemoration, which should bring together almost the entire royal family, as well as a number of European crowned heads. “The service will honor the Duke of Edinburgh’s dedication to his family, his nation and the Commonwealth and recognize the importance of his legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promoting environmental stewardship and conservation and supporting the armed forces,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement .
The palace also specified the sequence of the ceremony, which begins at 11:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. GMT) and ends with music, played by the Royal Marines brass band, in tribute to Prince Philip’s military career. We also know which flowers will be used to decorate Westminster Abbey: roses, chrysanthemums, orchids, holly and irises, in shades of blue, white and red, the dominant colors of the British flag.
“Orchids featured in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947, and the sea holly echoes the Duke of Edinburgh’s career in the navy and his lifelong affection for the sea,” says Buckingham.