The United Kingdom Loses A Monarch: The Death of Prince Philip

Vayda Pascarella ‘22, Staff Writer

On April 9, 2021, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away peacefully at the age of ninety-nine in Windsor Castle. The royal family informed the BBC of the prince’s passing, and the BBC announced the monarch’s death to the public at 12:00 BST. In the days leading up to the funeral, people began to wonder if the prince would be having a state funeral, to which the royal family replied that he would not. When Prince Philip had planned the funeral in advance, he had opted not to have a state funeral. As per the prince’s wishes, a ceremonial royal funeral was to be held at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, with only a few members of the royal family in attendance. Due to the pandemic, some aspects of the funeral plan were altered, but the funeral stayed true to the prince’s wishes overall. 

The funeral itself was held on April 17, 2021, eight days after Prince Philip’s death. The funeral began after a procession from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel. The procession was lined by representatives of the Royal Navy, the Highlanders, the Royal Marines, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Royal Air Force as well as members of the Band of Grenadier Guards, the Major General’s Party, military service chiefs, and members of the royal family. They walked alongside and behind the custom LandRover containing Prince Philip’s casket until they arrived at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, signaling the end of the procession. The Bearer Party carried Prince Philip’s casket up the West Steps. After pausing for a moment of silence at 3:00 P.M., the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor received the coffin, signaling the beginning of the funeral. Members of the royal family sat socially distanced from one another, with the queen sitting the closest to Prince Philip’s casket, alone. After a fifty minute service that included a small choir singing four pieces picked by Prince Philip, the prince’s coffin was lowered into the royal vault. The Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed the Blessing and the choir sang the national anthem, signaling the end of the funeral.