Just over a week since his death, Prince Philip was laid to rest today (April 17) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, where eyes around the world fell on the royal family, which was together in rare public view after an especially turbulent period.
The funeral convened 30 members of the royal family, including Prince William and Prince Harry, who traveled from California to the U.K. earlier this week for the occasion. The family reunion came just over a month since Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s explosive CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey, though the Queen has done everything in her power to diffuse any awkwardness, including forgoing military uniforms for members of the royal family, thus allowing Prince Harry and her son, the scandalized Prince Andrew, to save face after stepping down from official duties.
Prince Harry and Prince William were appropriately sombre as part of the royal procession, separated by their cousin Peter Phillips, who is the duke’s first grandchild, as per royal protocol. However, after the funeral (photos below), Harry could be seen chatting with sister-in-law Kate Middleton, and joined her and William to walk back to the state apartments — a hopeful sign that the trio has indeed set aside their differences for the funeral.
The service itself was full of music, all chosen specifically — and, in some cases, especially commissioned — by the duke. There was no sermon or eulogy, and no members of the family spoke during the entire service. One commentator described the event as resolutely “royal,” with little to no personal affectations about the royal, as he would have wished.
More than 730 members of the armed forces are taking part in the funeral proceedings, in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh’s military background. In the hours leading up to the service, which began at 3 p.m. local time, various branches of the armed forces honored the royal with processions on the castle grounds, while the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery made its way along the Long Walk in Windsor earlier this afternoon.
It’s important to note that Prince Philip’s funeral is a ceremonial royal funeral, rather than a state funeral, which is usually reserved for a monarch. As such, despite the pageantry, it’s a much smaller affair than one you’d expect for a senior royal.
The BBC carved out five hours in its Saturday afternoon schedule for coverage of the funeral, led by presenter Huw Edwards. The corporation has been in the crosshairs over the last week after pulling regularly scheduled programming on April 9, when news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing first broke, to air blanket coverage of his death.
The coverage, which usurped the “MasterChef” finale and other popular primetime shows, led the BBC to set up a dedicated complaints page to deal with the deluge of disgruntled viewers. More than a staggering 109,000 complaints were made.
Nonetheless, the Beeb made no apologies for its coverage and revealed on Thursday that the duke’s funeral would receive five hours of air time on flagship channel BBC One. On BBC Two, regularly scheduled programming will continue for much of the day, though the funeral will air at 8 p.m.