Tribute to Prince Philip: what you need to know about the ceremony

A Mass dedicated to Prince Philip will take place on March 29th. The opportunity for the European nobility to pay tribute to the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

The queen’s picture now an abandoned widow, emaciated and isolated on a bench in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in April last year, had traveled the world in a matter of hours. After 73 years of happy marriage, her husband, Prince Philip, died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021. A huge loss for the sovereign if health has since deteriorated significantly.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which was still in full swing at the time of the Prince Consort’s disappearance, his funeral was celebrated on April 17, 2021 in a very small committee. Only thirty people were able to attend his funeral at Windsor Castle. Another grief to bear for Queen Elizabeth II.

At the time of his death, a future tribute ceremony had already been announced and a few weeks ago, Buckingham Palace set the date for March 29th. A Thanksgiving Mass will therefore take place in Westminster Abbey and will be attended by thousands of people, including many close to the Prince.

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A few days before his 96th birthday and his platinum anniversary, Queen Elizabeth is about to say a final goodbye to her dear husband, surrounded by much of the European aristocracy. But in recent days have the British sovereign was forced to cancel many events for health reasons. Thus, there are still doubts about whether she will really be able to go to Westminster or not …

© Agency / BestimageQueen Elizabeth II at her husband’s funeral on April 17, 2021.

To avoid any overload of fatigue for the monarch, the courtiers planned a quasi-military organization around the tribute ceremony. Initially a helicopter ride to bring Queen Elizabeth, currently resident at Windsor Castle, to Buckingham Palace. She takes the rest of the trip by car. So far, she has certainly ruled out the possibility of using a wheelchair.

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The crowned guests arrive in droves

While Prince Philips’ official funeral was held behind closed doors in April last year, as health restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic have mostly been lifted, the European nobility intends to catch up and will move en masse to Britain on March 29, 2022.

Among those present will be King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Sofia of Sweden. King Felipe VI of Spain, another direct descendant of Queen Victoria – rightly nicknamed “Europe’s grandmother” – will come to pay tribute to his famous cousin, accompanied by his wife, Queen Letizia. King Willem-Alexander as well as Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix will also be present.

King Felipe and Prince Philip in 2017.
© GTRES / BESTIMAGEKing Felipe and Prince Philip in 2017.

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway had announced their arrival, however the worrying state of health of the monarch, which is currently positive for Covid-19, will undoubtedly force them to cancel their visit. On the other hand, King Philippe of Belgium and his wife, Queen Mathilde, will take the tour, as well as Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg. Princess Margaret and Prince Radu of Romania will also visit Westminster Abbey.

In addition, some lesser known members of Prince Philip Mountbatten’s family will definitely take the tripincluding the royal family of Greece, the country where the deceased was born.

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The complete (or almost) royal family of England

Without too many surprises, the Windsor clan will be in full force at the tribute ceremony in memory of Prince Philip – with the exception of Prince Harry. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed that they will not be able to travel to London, from Los Angeles, California, to the apartment.

The Windsor clan behind the Prince Consort's coffin on April 17, 2021.
© Agency / BestimageThe Windsor clan behind the Prince Consort’s coffin on April 17, 2021.

One of the reasons for their absence is without a doubt, the British Government’s refusal to provide them with adequate protection services their social status and the associated risks. Fearing for the safety of his two children, Archie and Lilibeth, and his wife, Meghan Markles, Prince Harry has announced that he will not return to the UK with his family until further notice.

On March 29, all eyes will be on Prince Andrew. The disgraced duke bids himself his first official release since the signing of his financial agreement with Virginia Giuffré. As a reminder, the young woman accuses him of rape, and the deal, estimated at around £ 12 million, allowed the royal family to escape the protracted humiliation of a much-publicized trial. His daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, both very attached to their grandfather, Philip, will surely be by his side. The day promises to be solemn but eventful.

Photo credits: Agency / Bestimage

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