Prince Philip funeral ceremony praised by Zoe Ball
The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest at a scaled-back funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday. The Queen sat alone in St George’s Chapel donned in full black and a black mask and socially distanced from the other 29 guests. The funeral was full of nods to the Duke’s numerous military connections, and it was stamped with his own fingerprints, in particular the Land Rover-come-hearse which he helped design to carry his coffin.
Less than a month before he passed away peacefully in Windsor, Philip was discharged from hospital after a month-long stay.
He was treated for an infection and underwent heart surgery during the 28 days he was in hospital.
However, many people were optimistic when he left that his health was looking up.
Sadly this was not to be, and one expert has claimed close friends of the Duke said he “had that feeling” that he was very ill and not long for this world, and so was determined to get back to Windsor and be with his wife of 73 years.
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The Queen and her beloved husband Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin draped in his standard with family walking behind
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Mr Myers said in a special tribute episode for the Duke: “Everyone was trying to remain upbeat and certainly when the Duke of Edinburgh got out of hospital after he was discharged after spending four weeks as an in-patient in two hospitals, first of all for an infection and then having heart surgery at such an age.
“I suppose everyone was buoyed by the fact he was able to get out, he was able to be at home.
“And I think he knew that he was very gravely ill and certainly reading close friends of his this week have said he had that feeling and he was determined to get home and be back to Windsor Castle and be back with the Queen.
Prince Philip after being discharged from hospital last month
“And I think that will be of great comfort to, not only his family, but millions of people around the world have shared in this outpouring of emotion of such a man who has been such a presence in all our lives.”
Ms Gripper noted that they had shared in the optimism of many people on the podcast; spring was coming, lockdown was lifting, Prince Philip appeared from the outside to be recovering.
Yet, just days after they noted that he had been picking up, he died.
That said, for a man to die at the grand old age of 99 at home with his beloved wife, she argued there is “not a lot more you could ask for”.
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The Queen sits alone for her husband’s funeral
She said: “It was only a few days ago that Russell and I were talking about how Prince Philip seemed to have been recovering well and excitement…
“I guess we were full of spring hopefulness and everything seemed to be looking up with coronavirus easing, Prince Philip was back home which, to a certain extent, is remarkable in itself for a man of his years.
“But actually ultimately to pass away at the age of 99 at home, in some ways, there’s not a lot more you could want really.”
Mr Myers agreed and pointed to the fact that the Queen had told her family she perceived it to be a “miracle”.
Queen arrives at chapel for Prince Philip’s funeral
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, said it was “gentle” and as if “somebody took him by the hand and off he went”.
The Queen, 95, is understood to have been by his side when he passed on.
Mr Myers commented: “I was drawn to the fact that the Queen told her family that she perceived it to be a miracle.
Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip’s death with the traditional sign
“And what she meant by that – I think there was some confusion in the first instance – but what she meant by that is it kind of was a miracle, because he was gravely ill and certainly that’s what we’ve been picking up on over the past few weeks.”
The funeral saw Prince Harry reuniting with Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in what many hope could be the beginning of the end of the rift between them.
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