Former Royal Protection Officer Richard Griffin, who worked for the Queen and Prince Philip for 14 years, was one of the guests at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service
Video not available
Guests at the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service debated Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to skip the event, with the late King’s former Conservation Officer calling their apology for not attending “nonsense”.
Richard Griffin, who was responsible for the security of both the Queen and Prince Philip for 14 years, was a guest at today’s event but was disappointed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided against returning to the UK to secure their to pay homage.
Harry has said he cannot return to the UK due to security concerns, which has become the subject of his latest legal battle – this time against the Home Office.
Speaking to Sky News, Richard said: “William had a great workout from [Prince Philip] and will learn all his examples for him.
“Fingers fingers I just hope Harry can get some of these things into his head.”
When asked about his decision not to be there, he said: “It was a huge disappointment for everyone.”
He also said members of the 1,800-strong congregation discussed Harry’s absence before the service began.
He said: “Surely, close to where I was, they thought he should have been here.
“All that nonsense about him not being able to get protection, as far as I’m concerned that was a pathetic excuse, he should have been here to honor his grandfather.
“At the end of the day if he was that worried about safety he could have stayed with his brother and father who have wonderful security. He would have been more than certain.”
Richard worked for the royal family for over a decade and said today’s service captured the duke perfectly.
Speaking of today’s event, he said: “To see the Queen come in and sit with her family, that was wonderful.”
“It was very emotional. I worked with Prince Philip for 14 years, traveled the world with him, did a lot with him and missed him very much when he died.
“Prince Philip had a huge impact on the ministry, you could see that straight away.”
“It was fantastic to be able to come out and pay our respects today. It was wonderful, wonderful service.
“He was the most caring man you could meet.”
He also shared a story about when his son was diagnosed with cancer and Philip called the hospital to check on him. He also wrote to his wife to check on her, and on another occasion arranged transport for Mr. Griffin’s daughter to get home for Christmas.
Today’s event recognized Prince Philip’s charity work and decades of service to the Queen and Royal Family.
The Dean of Westminster gave a moving speech about the Duke. He said: “He would hate to think that I should paint a picture of him as a ‘plaster saint’; someone without the usual human frailties and weaknesses.
“He was far too confident to ever fall for flattery. Of course, it must be said that his life was one of sacrifice and service.
AFP via Getty Images)
“Certainly he could show great sympathy and kindness.
“There is no doubt that he had a delightfully engaging and often self-deprecating sense of humour. It’s pretty clear his mind held both speculation and common sense together. Besides, no one would ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to us Queen and her family.
“Even so, there were times when he could be gruff; maybe in robust conversations he forgot how intimidating he could be.
“A kind of natural reserve made him seem a little distant at times. He could be a bit perceptive about pricking what he thought were puffs of self-importance or sycophancy.
“On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget that he himself was sometimes hurt because he was unfairly criticized or misunderstood.
“Like the rest of us, he was part of a flawed humanity. However, unlike most of us, he was one of those rare people who remained true to and guided by what one might call an ‘inner spiritual compass’; a sense of being called to play a role in creating a world willed by God.
“As we give thanks for the life of a remarkable man, perhaps our greatest tribute to him, especially in these far too turbulent times, is that we accept the challenge that is in his life, put something of him back in our hearts.” to kindle people to heed that call and to pray (as I believe he did) for inspiration and guidance so that we can play our part, however small, in the work for a kinder future.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-harrys-pathetic-excuse-skipping-26583145 Prince Harry's "pathetic apology" for skipping Philip's service was discussed by guests at the Abbey