The Queen stands bravely during Prince Phillip’s memorial service
The thanksgiving service held at Westminster Abbey today made up for the funeral service which had to be held in a reduced, socially distanced capacity last April due to coronavirus restrictions in place at the time , according to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams. Recalling Prince Philip’s funeral, held on April 17, the expert told Express.co.uk: “What we had at the funeral, of course, was the need for the Royal Family to follow coronavirus restrictions.
“It meant the nation’s heart went out to the Queen, as she sat alone.
“And it was a deeply moving but also deeply sad scene.
“The funeral was of course what the Duke would have liked – but they couldn’t sing, you couldn’t get the attendees to sing the hymns.
“Also today you had the opportunity for 800 people to attend, including the Royal Family, overseas Royals, various charities.”
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The Queen attended Prince Philip’s memorial service
The Queen at Prince Philip’s funeral service in April last year
Moreover, he continued, this service has provided a clearer picture to all observers of the extraordinary breadth of Prince Philip’s work and interests throughout his life.
He said: “This service showed the extent of Prince Philip’s activities, it was quite extraordinary.
“Prince Philip’s service wasn’t just about supporting the Queen, it wasn’t just about his commitments or his love of design, painting, reading.
“It is this extraordinary collection of charitable activities, his rewards program that has benefited millions of people.
READ MORE: Stoic Queen cut a very different figure from ‘painful’ funeral
Hundreds of people were invited to the service
“And obviously his efforts for the environment, the military…and his love for the sport, as a pilot, driver, polo player and you could go on and on.
“He was a dynamo, the number of his activities, if counted, at home and abroad, was just superhuman.”
The Queen was present at today’s service.
As the most senior member of the Firm, the monarch was the last person to enter the Abbey in central London.
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The Queen arrived at the Abbey with Prince Andrew
Lady Louise is the Queen’s youngest granddaughter
As the 95-year-old has mobility issues, special arrangements have been made to facilitate her attendance.
Among them, it was decided that she would not enter through the main entrance but rather through the side doors near Poet’s Corner.
The Queen traveled from Windsor by car with Prince Andrew – who last attended a public event in 2021, Prince Philip’s funeral.
The Duke of York supported his mother as they descended the nave of the Abbey – but the Queen made the final steps to her seat alone, using only the support of a light cane.
The royal family tree
It was the first event the Queen had attended outside the palace walls since mid-October last year, when her doctors advised her to ‘rest up’ and only engage for a some time in light tasks.
The Queen was joined by several other active and non-active cabinet members, including Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Anne and the York sisters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived with their eldest children – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – who charmed their way through the abbey by smiling broadly and shaking hands with clergymen welcoming them to the church.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended the service
Lady Louise Windsor and her brother James, Viscount Severn, also joined the congregation as the Queen and Duke’s youngest grandchildren.
Notably absent was Prince Harry, whose representative announced earlier this month that the Duke would not cross the pond on the occasion.
However, they added, the Duke hoped to be able to meet the Queen in person soon.