beach_and_pier_-_2200x270_-_with_npr_and_cal_lu_1.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
World

Royal Family Holds Smaller, Intimate Funeral For Prince Philip Amid Pandemic

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was laid to rest today outside of London. A small congregation of family members and close friends were in attendance, all masked and socially distanced, as reporter Willem Marx reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WILLEM MARX, BYLINE: From Windsor Castle's ceremonial gate, the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin was carried downhill to St. George's Chapel, accompanied by gun salutes...

(SOUNDBITE OF GUNSHOT)

MARX: ...Military personnel, bright spring sunshine and the ringing of bells.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL RINGING)

MARX: His four children and three of his grandsons walked behind his personalized hearse, a dark-green Land Rover he designed. As they neared the chapel's main staircase, the band of the Grenadier Guards regiment struck up the British National Anthem, a song wishing long life for Philip's 94-year-old widow Queen Elizabeth. Dressed all in black, she paused briefly to watch the procession before she entered, followed by a cluster of her sons, wives, grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law.

Eight pallbearers pulled the coffin up steep steps to the chapel entrance and halted as the U.K. observed a minute's silence. The formal funeral service then began with an 18th-century hymn selected by the late duke.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing unintelligibly).

ELLIOTT: The dean of Windsor welcomed the small congregation of 30.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DAVID CONNER: We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.

MARX: And the tiny choir of four singers reminded them of the duke's wartime naval service.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Oh, hear us when we cry...

MARX: With Elizabeth's head bowed for much of the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury led the blessing before Philip was interred in the royal vault beneath. For NPR News, I'm Willem Marx in London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.