Royals assemble for memorial service to Prince Philip

Royals assemble for memorial service to Prince Philip


Royals assemble for memorial service to Prince Philip
Royals assemble for memorial service to Prince Philip

A thanksgiving service will take place on Tuesday for Queen Elizabeth II´s late husband, Prince Philip, nearly a year after his death and funeral held under coronavirus restrictions.

Philip, who was married to the queen for 73 years, died on April 9 last year aged 99, following a month-long stay in hospital with a heart complaint.

The service, at Westminster Abbey in central London, will “give thanks for the Duke of Edinburgh´s dedication to family, nation and Commonwealth”, royal officials said.

The sight of senior royals and their foreign counterparts, British and foreign dignitaries, and rousing military bands will give the impression of a return to business as usual.

But it has been an eventful 12 months in the storied history of the royal family, with ill health, scandal and division — plus the growing sense of the end of an era.

All eyes will inevitably be on the queen, who provided the enduring image of the duke´s socially distanced funeral, sitting on her own near his flag-draped coffin.

Her name was printed on Tuesday´s official order of service, as it was for the Commonwealth Day service earlier this month when she had been scheduled to appear.

But the 95-year-old monarch, who is in her record-breaking 70th year on the throne, pulled out at the last minute.

The queen, who turns 96 next month, has rarely been seen in public since spending an unscheduled night in hospital in October last year.

On medical advice, she has cancelled a series of high-profile engagements, and more recently complained of mobility issues that made standing and walking difficult.

She has been seen using a walking stick, and has reportedly been using a wheelchair — and even a golf buggy — behind the stately walls of her sprawling Windsor Castle home.

Speculation has also been rife that she could soon spend more time at her Balmoral estate in Scotland, after claims that a stairlift has been installed.



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