Military rehearse ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral

The Queen has shared one of her favourite photographs of Prince Philip ahead of his funeral. The 2003 shot shows the couple relaxing together in Aberdeenshire, close to the Balmoral estate.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen and his “courage, fortitude and faith” is expected to be highlighted at his funeral service on Saturday.

The funeral procession will reunite Prince William and Prince Harry, though they will not walk side by side. The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips when they walk behind their grandfather’s coffin.

In keeping with the Duke of Edinburgh’s wishes, there will be no sermon during the ceremonial royal service, according to the Order of Service released by Buckingham Palace.


‘He did a lot for this country’

Members of the public have visited Windsor on Saturday morning to pay tribute to Prince Philip, with some laying flowers at the gates of Windsor Castle.

Kaya Mar explained that he had painted of the duke in tribute. Speaking to our correspondent Chiara Giordano, the 64-year-old said: “It’s a tribute to his life, I liked him very much. I’m not a royalist; as a person, I liked him.

“He was a very outspoken person, a very colourful person. He did a lot for this country. When something happened, the country turned to them for security. It took me an hour to paint it, to say thank you to his life.”

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Kaya Mar, 64, shares his portrait

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Kaya Mar, 64, shares his portrait

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Kaya Mar, 64, shares his portrait

(Chiara Giordano / The Independent)

Adam Forrest17 April 2021 11:44


‘Devoted family man who we will forever miss’

Mike Tindall, married to Philip’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, has paid tribute to the Duke ahead of the funeral. Sharing a photo of Philip with the Tindalls’ eldest daughter, he described him as a “devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love”.

Adam Forrest17 April 2021 11:25


Security presence mounts at Windsor Castle ahead of funeral

Armed police officers could be seen patrolling around Windsor Castle this morning.

Hundreds of officers and stewards wearing purple vests were in place around the historic town while police vans and motorbikes were on the roads.

Security presence mounts at Windsor Castle ahead of Philip’s funeral

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 11:15


Duke’s great niece remembers him as ‘idol’ for younger generation of their family

The Duke of Edinburgh’s great niece, whose brother is in Windsor for his funeral, has remembered Philip as an “idol” for the younger generation of their family.

Speaking from Munich, Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg told the BBC: “To all of us, he was an idol, he was somebody to look up to, we had enormous respect for him and it was always very exciting when he came to visit, and he came often.

“And this has become clear to me in the week since he’s died – the way he lived his life, his motto, which was an unwritten motto for us, this discipline, this selflessness, this lack of ego, but also his sense of humour always underlying all of that.

“His hard work and the philosophy that the Duke of Edinburgh Awards have given so many young people is something that is constantly underlying our lives, and it’s certainly something that I’ve always aspired to live up to.”

Speaking about her brother’s attendance at the funeral, she added: “It’s a huge honour, obviously, and having spoken to my brother yesterday, he’s just saying it’s a very special time for the cousins to be together and to be representing what is a huge part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s family.

“You just have to think that there were 16 direct cousins of the Prince of Wales… that’s a huge number of people, and there’s three descendants that are able to be there to represent us is a huge honour and is deeply felt.”

She went on to describe him as the family’s “glue”.

Princess Xenia said: “He’s been like a glue for the family, because sadly a lot of our grandmothers passed away much too early.

“But he was always there, he was the link, so he brought all of us cousins, even though we were in Germany – a lot of us but not all of us – he brought us all together on a lot of family occasions, the last one having been his 90th birthday celebrations 10 years ago at Windsor.

“We were all there, there was a huge bunch of us, and it was lovely.”

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 11:04


Prince’s coffin to be moved from private chapel

Prince Philip’s coffin, which will be covered with his personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, is due shortly to be moved from the private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle by members of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 10:49


Warm afternoon expected for Philip’s funeral

A rather warm afternoon is expected for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, forecasters have said.

Members of the royal family will walk behind Philip’s coffin as it is taken into St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the funeral will take place at 3pm.

A cold and frosty start to the day is set to clear and leave a fine and dry morning with plenty of sunshine, the Met Office said.

Conditions around Windsor are set to be similar to many areas across the South East, according to a spokesman who said there may be highs of 15C, possibly 16C, in isolated spots.

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 10:33


Prince Hassan bin Talal describes friend Duke of Edinburgh as ‘remarkable human being’

Prince Hassan bin Talal described his friend the Duke of Edinburgh as a “remarkable human being”.

The member of the Jordanian royal family told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “We were frequently guests at Sandringham and Balmoral, and in that context established a personal relationship

“I remember saying to him, ‘How do I refer to you?’. He said, ‘Philip is a perfectly good name’.

“I think I was very close to knowing the man, the human being, and in that sense I feel the privilege in having known not only an encyclopaedia of knowledge, but also an icon of human dignity.”

Prince Hassan said he enjoyed the duke’s “forthrightness”, adding he did not think Philip would mind having a scaled-down funeral due to coronavirus restrictions.

“On the contrary, I think he had every right to make it as personal and as poignant,” he continued.

“The word reconfiguration is a long word but when I see the hearse being reconfigured into that Land Rover where we bounced around every year – it was quite an uncomfortable ride sometimes – but this was his right.

“He lived in a world in which he had spent so much time proving: ‘this I can do’.”

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 10:20


Prince Philip’s secret return visit to his birthplace

Greek island of Corfu quietly remembers Prince Philip, and plans permanent exhibition to commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh, who was born here in 1921, writes Alex Sakalis:

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 10:06


‘Difficult to stifle a tear’ at hymns for duke, top military commander says

One of the country’s top military commanders, who was present at the rehearsal for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Friday, has said it was “difficult to stifle a tear” when he heard the hymns which will be played at the ceremony.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander of Strategic Command, who has met the duke several times, told BBC Breakfast: “I was standing at the rehearsal yesterday and you hear those first notes of Nimrod, and the hairs go up at the back of your neck, you get a lump in your throat.

“It’s difficult to stifle a tear as you think about the duke and the impact on the royal family and the whole nation – and you stand there a little stiffer, a little straighter, determined to do right by him.”

Remembering Philip, he said: “You couldn’t have a conversation with the duke without seeing a twinkle in his eye.

“The thing that always struck me about him was he was focused entirely on the person in front of him, and he was able to engage with people as individuals – it didn’t matter what your rank was, it didn’t matter what your station in life was, it didn’t matter what your experience was – he was interested in you, really interested, and he treated everybody the same.

“Each of those exchanges invariably involved some kind of banter, some kind of personal anecdote, some kind of quip, and you could always hear laughter wherever the duke was.”

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 09:52


Simon Armitage pays tribute to Prince Philip in new poem shared ahead of funeral

Simon Armitage has written a poem to pay tribute to Prince Philip, Roisin O’Connor reports.

Armitage’s poem marks the first time he has addressed the royals during his tenure as the UK’s poet laureate.

Armitage said the obituaries for Prince Philip had taught him the royal “hated sycophancy”, and so he had written a poem that instead was “in service of all people like him”.

Titled “The Patriarchs – An Elegy”, it begins with “unseasonal” snow, and builds to a tribute to the men of the duke’s generation who were “husbands to duty”.

Samuel Osborne17 April 2021 09:27

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