When Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s beloved husband, passed away last year, his funeral services were altered because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly a year later, a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip will be held at Westminster Abbey. The British royal family, and other European royals, will gather to remember the Duke of Edinburgh.
According to Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth has “been actively involved in the plans” Prince Philip’s Service of Thanksgiving, “with many elements reflecting Her Majesty’s wishes.”
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands, to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary, November 17, 2007.
Tim GrahamGetty Images
Per Buckingham Palace, “The Service will give thanks for The Duke of Edinburgh’s dedication to family, Nation and Commonwealth and recognise the importance of his legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promoting environmental stewardship and conservation, and supporting the Armed Forces.”
In addition, Buckingham Palace says, “The Service will in particular pay tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh’s contribution to public life and steadfast support for the over 700 charitable organisations with which His Royal Highness was associated throughout his life. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, founded by His Royal Highness in 1956, will feature prominently in the Service.”
Here’s the order of events at Prince Philip’s memorial service:
- The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band), directed by Lieutenant Colonel Jason Burcham RM, will play as guests enter Westminster Abbey.
- The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, will conduct the service and begin by going over the order.
- Doyin Sonibare, a gold award holder from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, will give a tribute to Prince Philip’s legacy. Sonibare will speak about the impact of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
- Jim Wallace, the Baron Wallace of Tankerness and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, will read Isaiah 40:25-31.
- Dame Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of London, will read Philippians 4:4-9.
- Bishop David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, will give an address. (Bishop Conner preached at services in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on the occasions of the Duke of Edinburgh’s 80th and 90th birthdays, and led Prince Philip’s funeral service last year.)
- The choir will sing Te Deum in C by Benjamin Britten, chosen by Prince Philip for his funeral. (Music at the service will be sung by the Choirs of Westminster Abbey, and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.)
- Clery from Windsor, Sandringham, and Balmoral will offer prayers.
- Guide me, O thou great Redeemer will be sung by the congregation, another one of Prince Philip’s requests for his funeral that was not possible due to COVID restrictions last year.
- Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will pronounce the blessing.
- The congregation will sing the national anthem.
- The royal band will play “the Seafarers” as guests depart Westminster Abbey.
Flowers at the memorial service:
Per Buckingham Palace, flowers at Prince Philip’s memorial service will be in shades of red, white and blue.
The larger floral arrangements will feature red and white roses, carnations, gerbera, eustoma, white chrysanthemums, blue agapanthus, delphinium, and eryngium (sea holly). The smaller arrangements will feature red freesias, alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), spray roses, white dendrobium orchids, freesias, eustoma, blue irises, and eryngium.
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, on their wedding day, November 20, 1947.
Hulton DeutschGetty Images
As Buckingham Palace explains, “Orchids featured in The Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947, and sea holly echoes the Duke of Edinburgh’s career in the Navy, and lifelong affection for the sea.”
Who is attending Prince Philip’s memorial service?
The Queen plans to attend, and all senior members of the British royal family will be in attendance. Notably, Prince Andrew will be in attendance with his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. In addition, numerous European royals are confirmed to attend. Representatives of the Duke of Edinburgh’s patronages and charities, and representatives from the UK government, will also be in attendance.
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