Nation falls silent for Prince Philip's funeral

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

The nation fell silent today at 3pm to pay respects to the Duke of Edinburgh who was laid to rest at Windsor Castle.

The funeral service started in St George’s Chapel at 3pm but formally began at 2.15pm in the Quadrangle in the castle grounds.

The household cavalry, foot guards and military detachments from units the Duke was personally connected with stood in line.

As the bands played, they could be heard distantly from the street outside.

The bands stopped playing at 2.40pm and Prince Philip’s coffin was carried out and placed on the Land Rover he helped to make special modifications to.

After this the procession began, led by the band of the Grenadier Guards.

The procession route was lined by personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Forcef.

The Duke's coffin was draped in his personal flag, representing his Greek heritage and British titles, with a wreath and the Duke's naval cap and sword on top.

Only the members of the Royal Family entered the chapel while the rest of the procession remained outside, as funerals remain limited to 30 people.

As the Queen does not live alone, she could not sit with any other members of the family and sat by herself in the chapel.

Prince Harry was able to attend the funeral, but the Duchess of Sussex was advised not to travel as she is pregnant and could not attend.

At 3pm, a minute's silence was held nationwide, in memory of the Duke. The start and end of the silence was signalled by a gun fired by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

After the silence was finished, residents standing outside the castle clapped.

Dean of Windsor David Conner led the service while prayers were said by the Dean and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

A small choir of four, conducted by the St George’s Chapel Director of Music, James Vivian, sang pieces of music chosen by the Duke. In line with Government guidelines, there was no congregational singing.

The choir sang ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’, traditionally associated with the Royal Navy, and ‘Jubilate in C’, a piece commissioned by The Duke for the St George’s Chapel Choir. It has been sung in the chapel over many years.

The choir also sang an adaption of Psalm 104, which Prince Philip requested be set to music by William Lovelady. It was previously sung at a concert celebrating The Duke of Edinburgh’s 75th birthday.

A lament was played by a pipe major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The Duke of Edinburgh was Royal Colonel of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The Last Post was then sounded by buglers of the Royal Marines and the reveille sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry.

The buglers then played ‘Action Stations’, traditionally an announcement that would be made on a naval warship to signify that all hands should go to battle stations.

As part of the prayers, the Archbishop gave thanks for Prince Philip's 'resolute faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity, for his life and service to the nation and commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership.'

Outside the castle grounds, the nearest streets collected a throng of people, though no part of the funeral procession could be seen from public streets.

Elsewhere in Windsor, a significant number of people were around the town in the outdoor seats of pubs and cafes.

Stuart O'Brien general manager at the Two Brewers Public House said: “It’s getting pretty busy, there’s been a lot of people on the Long Walk, just wanting to see what they can see.”

Editor's Picks

Most read

Top Articles