How the royal family united at Prince Philips funeral – their most heartbreaking day this year

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The Queen and members of the royal family experienced heartache in 2021 following the death of the monarch’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, on 9 April at Windsor Castle.

Her Majesty, along with her children and grandchildren, bid an emotional farewell to Prince Philip at his funeral on Saturday 17 April at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

While plans for Prince Philip’s funeral were modified in light of COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremonial aspects of the day and the service were still in line with the Duke’s wishes, Buckingham Palace said at the time. 

Only 30 guests were attendance at the service and these included all of Philip’s children and grandchildren plus their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, and three of Philip’s German relatives: Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden; Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Also invited was a close friend of Philip’s, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, who was previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, and was the Duke’s carriage driving partner.

No members of the royal family were in military uniform – the men wore morning coats with their medals while the women appeared in day dresses.

WATCH: Members of the royal family arrive for Prince Philip's funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor 

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Leading the procession to the chapel were the Band of the Grenadier Guards, followed by the Major General commanding the Household Division, service chiefs, the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin on a custom-built Land Rover hearse, members of the royal family on foot, Philip's household staff, and finally a Bentley carrying the Queen.

A national minute's silence took place at 3pm at the start of the funeral and the Duke was interred in the royal vault in the chapel at the end of the service, which was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner.

Graphic credit: Laura Barnard

MORE: The moving reason why the Queen chose to have Prince Philip's coffin in her private chapel

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The Prince of Wales was pictured wearing a black face mask on his way to the service in Windsor

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were pictured arriving at the service. 

Prince William shared a touching tribute to the Duke, saying: “I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!”

MORE: Prince William and Kate depart Kensington Palace for Prince Philip’s royal funeral

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The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in an elegant and meaningful outfit for Prince Philip's funeral, choosing to pay tribute to both the Queen and the late Princess Diana by wearing the iconic Japanese Pearl Choker necklace.

The four-strand necklace with a central diamond clasp was commissioned by the Queen herself, made from pearls given to her by the Japanese government. While the necklace belongs to Her Majesty, Kate's late mother-in-law Diana famously wore the beautiful necklace a state banquet for the Netherlands in 1982.

MORE: Kate Middleton's sweet tribute to the Queen with choice of jewellery at Prince Philip's funeral

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Zara arrived with her husband Mike in a separate car.

The couple welcomed their third child on 21 March, calling him Lucas Philip Tindall, with his middle name a touching tribute to Zara’s late grandfather.

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Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Penelope Knatchbull, who had always been one of the closest companions of both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, was among the attendees.

MORE: Meet Prince Philip's close friend Countess Mountbatten of Burma who will be attending the funeral

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The Queen and Prince Philip's niece Lady Sarah Chatto was one of the 30 guests at the funeral. Princess Margaret's daughter has an incredibly close bond with her aunt and looked visibly emotional as she drove towards the chapel. 

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Ahead of the service, Prince Philip’s insignia – the medals and decorations conferred on him by the UK and Commonwealth countries – together with his Field Marshal’s baton, Royal Air Force Wings, and insignia from Denmark and Greece, was displayed on cushions on the altar inside the chapel. 

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The Duke's cap, whip and brown gloves were laid on the seat of his favourite driving carriage as it was brought into the quadrangle.

The carriage was pulled by his two trusty black Fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm. 

MORE: Prince Philip's funeral wreath from his royal cousin 'Daisy' revealed

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Members of the military lined the entrance to Windsor Castle in honour of the late Duke, who served in the Royal Navy. 

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Members of the royal family not involved in the procession arrived at Windsor Castle by car, including the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Prince Harry and Prince William were emotional as they walked behind Prince Philip’s coffin in morning suits. 

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The Countess of Wessex was pictured making her way into the service, while the Earl of Wessex took part in the procession on foot. 

Prince Edward and Sophie, along with their daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, viewed floral tributes for Prince Philip at St George’s Chapel before the funeral. 

MORE: Prince Edward and Sophie joined by Lady Louise Windsor to view floral tributes for Prince Philip

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Princess Beatrice, accompanied by her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, was also among the Queen’s grandchildren present at the service. The monarch and Prince Philip attended Princess Beatrice and Edoardo’s wedding in Windsor in July 2020.

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Princess Eugenie and Jack arrived at the service, travelling from nearby Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. The couple welcomed their first child in February and named him August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, paying tribute to Eugenie's late grandfather.

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Royal cousins Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall lined up with their partners outside the chapel ahead of their grandfather's funeral. 

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The Duke's coffin, accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and the Lord Chamberlain, was moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle by a Bearer Party of The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The Bearer Party placed the coffin onto a specially modified Land Rover, which Philip helped to design, to transport it to St George's Chapel.

The coffin was draped in the Duke's personal standard and with flowers, his Naval Cap and sword placed on top. 

MORE: Prince Philip's royal standard decoded – what his official flag represents

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Members of the royal family, not involved in the procession, waited outside the chapel, including the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, and Mike and Zara Tindall. 

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The Duke of Sussex was pictured for the first time in the UK since stepping back from royal duties with wife Meghan in March 2020.

Prince Harry joined cousin, Peter Phillips, and older brother, Prince William, in the procession. The Duchess of Sussex was advised not to travel to the UK by her doctor due to the advanced stage of her pregnancy at the time. The couple’s daughter Lilibet was born in June 2021.

She and her husband Prince Harry also provided a wreath to be laid during the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

The wreath, which was accompanied by a handwritten note from the Duchess, was made up of a variety of locally sourced flowers.

Harry and Meghan commissioned one of their favourite florists to make and design the wreath – Willow Crossley, who also did the flower arrangements for the couple’s evening wedding reception in Frogmore Gardens in 2018, their son Archie’s christening in 2019, and the launch event for the Hubb Community cookbook at Kensington Palace.

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan send wreath and handwritten message for Prince Philip’s funeral

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Joining Princes William and Harry in the procession were Prince Charles, Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Earl of Snowdon.

Also in the procession were six of the Duke of Edinburgh's staff members, including his personal protection officer, his private secretary, two valets and two pages.

MORE: Prince Harry reunites with his family at Prince Philip's funeral

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A close-up photo showed members of the military accompanying the late Duke's hearse on its journey to Windsor Castle. 

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The Queen, arriving at the service, was accompanied by her lady-in-waiting, Lady Susan Hussey, in the State Bentley. The monarch was dressed in a black day coat and wore a face covering.

MORE: Meet the Queen's lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey

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Ordinarily the Queen would have been seated closely with members of her family, but the royals were socially distanced at the service inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor. 

The monarch sat in the second row at the service, two seats away from her second son, the Duke of York and opposite her heir, the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

It was not unusual for the Queen to be seated in the second row, as she also sat in the same position at the weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in 2018.

MORE: Why the Queen was not seated in the front row in the chapel at Prince Philip’s funeral

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Sitting opposite Harry was his older brother and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn seated in between William and Kate, and Charles and Camilla.

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Lady Louise Windsor paid a touching tribute to her late grandfather by accessorising her outfit with an equestrian brooch – a nod to their shared passion for carriage riding. 

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No sermon was delivered during the ceremonial royal service, in keeping with Prince Philip’s wishes.

No members of the royal family read lessons or gave readings and there was no eulogy.

HELLO! understands that this was kept in line with the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002 when the delivery of readings was left to the clergy, and there was no eulogy then either.

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The Queen personally selected the flowers that adorned her late husband’s coffin. 

The funeral wreath was chosen by Her Majesty and included white lilies, small white roses, white freesia, white wax flower, white sweet peas and jasmine.

A great deal of thought went into the Queen’s poignant selection, with each holding a special significance in tribute to her husband Prince Philip and their enduring marriage.

White lilies are often seen at weddings and funerals since they represent rebirth, while the white rose is a sign of respect or remembrance. Notably, it is also the flower of June, Philip’s birth month.

Jasmine, meanwhile, is symbolic of purity, and sweet peas represent a departure or thank you. The white wax flowers symbolises a lasting love or a love that endures time and trials.

MORE: The Queen’s secret message to beloved Prince Philip in funeral wreath revealed

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The Queen paid a sweet tribute to her family at the funeral by wearing her diamond Richmond brooch, which has a special story behind it.

The sparkling piece came from her grandmother Queen Mary's collection, and may well be nostalgic to the Queen as she wore it regularly during her early reign for formal engagements with her husband. She has also worn it to military remembrance events in the past.

MORE: The Queen wears meaningful diamond brooch at Prince Philip's funeral

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were pictured chatting with Prince Harry as they walked out of the chapel following the moving service. 

It was the first time the trio had been pictured together since the Commonwealth Day Service in 2020. 

MORE: Prince William and Kate share sweet moment with Prince Harry after Prince Philip’s funeral

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As per Prince Philip's request, there was military involvement at the service. In line with the late royal's wishes, Action Stations – which is sounded on naval warships to signal all hands must go to battle stations – was played at the end.

Buglers of the Royal Marines performed the wartime alert, a tradition sometimes associated with naval funerals, in honour of the Duke's active service in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

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The Duchess of Cornwall was pictured leaving the funeral looking visibly emotional.

Camilla and her husband Prince Charles were seen looking visibly moved a few days before the funeral as they visited floral tributes left by the public for the Duke of Edinburgh.

MORE: Duchess of Cornwall visits the Queen hours after viewing floral tributes for Prince Philip

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Following the funeral, the nation remained in a period of national mourning, until 18 April.

The royals opted to undertake two weeks of national mourning, which ended on 22 April.

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A mourner outside the chapel held onto the order of service for Prince Philip's funeral. 

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Princess Beatrice was photographed leaving the solemn ceremony by car. 

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Tributes to Prince Philip were shown in London and throughout the world. 

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The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery were pictured departing Windsor Castle after the funeral.  

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