Almost a year after his death, members of the royal family will gather at Westminster Abbey today to pay tribute to the life and achievements of Prince Philip.
The funeral of Prince Philip Last April was “significantly scaled back” due to Covid restrictions as only 30 mourners were able to attend the small ceremony at Windsor Castle, he said Sky news‘ royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills.
But today the abbey’s door will be “opened open” for guests for the Thanksgiving service, which the Duke “never asked for and probably never expected,” he said The TelegraphAssociate editor Camilla Tominey.
An opportunity to remember
The 40-minute ceremony offers the Queen the opportunity “to attend a service in memory of her beloved husband without having to sit alone in the pews, her face covered by a black mask,” as she did last year, she said TheTelegraph. This service will be “a celebration rather than a sympathy for his passing” and will allow Her Majesty to “fully honor the life her late husband lived”.
According to Buckingham Palace, the Queen was “actively involved” in the planning of the memorial.
The service will recognize Philips’ “contribution to public life and unwavering support for the more than 700 charities with which His Royal Highness has been associated throughout his life,” according to the official Royal site. Representatives from these charities will be in attendance, and the ceremony as a whole will “reflect the life, work and enthusiasm of Prince Philip,” he said BBC‘s royal correspondent Sean Coughlan.
The Thanksgiving service will be “the state event which the reluctant king avoided – but which his loved ones have always insisted he well deserved,” added The Telegraph’s Tominey.
What will happen?
“Some of the original elements”. Philip’s funeral plans will be included in tonight’s service, as will the participation of “Gold Prize winners from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and representatives of the UK’s Cadet Force Associations,” Sky News’ Mills said. Members of the clergy from the royal estates of windsor, Sandringham and balmoral will also attend the service, in accordance with Philip’s wishes for his funeral.
The Royal Marines Portsmouth Band will play when the congregation arrives at Westminster Abbey, where Philip and the Queen were married in 1947. The service itself will include music sung by the choir of the Abbey and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace. They will perform Te Deum in C by Benjamin Britten, and the congregation will sing Lead me, O great Redeemer.
There will also be music by “Beethoven, JS Bach, Wagner, Vaughan Williams and William Byrd,” reported the BBC’s Coughlan. And, of course, the national anthem will also be “belted out,” Tominey told The Telegraph.
The Dean of Westminster, Very Reverend Dr. David Hoyle will pay tribute to “a man of rare skill and distinction” who has “always diverted our attention from himself. He used privilege and understood his rank as a spur to service.”
The Abbey will be adorned with flowers in “red, white and blue, including orchids in the Queen’s wedding bouquet” and “sea holly” to reflect the Duke’s naval career “and his lifelong affection for the sea,” Mills told Sky News.
The service begins at 11am and will be broadcast on BBC One.
Who is going?
Although she was involved in the planning, it was unclear if the Queen will join the community today.
“Buckingham Palace has indicated that there will be a last-minute decision on whether the Queen will attend,” said the BBC’s Coughlan. “Special measures have been taken for her comfort” and if she attends “she will be expected to enter through the rear of the Abbey via Poet’s Corner” as the most direct route to her seat.
The Queen’s children and their spouses will be in attendance. “It will be the first time Prince Andrew has been seen in public since settle his sexual abuse case with Virginia Giuffre” noted in February, Sky News’ Mills. Prince William and Kate Middleton will be in attendance, as will Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. But Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided not to attend.
According to website Royal.uk, members of foreign royal families will be seated alongside the Duke’s extended family and friends, as well as more than 500 representatives of the Duke of Edinburgh’s patronage and charities.
“VIPs including the Prime Minister and Sir David Attenborough” will also be in attendance, The Telegraph said.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/uk-news/956247/prince-philips-thanksgiving-the-order-of-service Prince Philip’s Thanksgiving: the Rules of Procedure