Philip used his Greek and Danish roots as inspiration for funeral altar decorations


The Duke of Edinburgh was known for his keen attention to detail and meticulous planning. He was heavily involved in drawing up plans for his own funeral, constantly reviewed with the Queen’s assistance. As part of those plans, Philip decided to decorate the altar with a collection of insignia that he held dear.

These will include not just British and Commonwealth orders, but also insignia that reflected his birth heritage as a prince of Greece and Denmark.

The Order of the Elephant and Order of the Redeemer will, along with other medals and decorations, be placed on nine cushions on the altar of St George’s Chapel.

Stephen Segrave, secretary of the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, told The Times: “They (the insignia) represent British and Commonwealth orders and decorations, and the final cushion with orders from Greece and Denmark, for obvious reasons.

“The Duke of Edinburgh had, I think, 61 decorations and awards from 53 different other countries, and there simply just wasn’t the space to have them all on display at the funeral.”

He added that the chosen insignia would have “absolutely” meant a great deal to Prince Philip.

Though he was born into the Greek Royal Family, Philip was also a member of the Danish monarchy through his grandfather George I of Greece.

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A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: “The arrangements have been agreed, and they represent Her Majesty’s wishes.”

The Palace also confirmed that none of the Royals would be wearing a military uniform.

Reports have suggested the decision may have been taken to spare embarrassment for Harry, who was stripped of his military titles after quitting the Royal Family.



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