Late last night, on the eve of the funeral of her husband of 73 years, the Queen shared a private photo of the couple, casually relaxing in Scotland.
The Royal Family social media page said: “The Queen wishes to share this private photograph taken with The Duke of Edinburgh at the top of the Coyles of Muick, Scotland in 2003.” The picture was taken by The Countess of Wessex in 2003.
The royal couple enjoyed the longest marriage in British royal history, becoming the first to celebrate their Platinum Wedding anniversary in 2017.
It was in July 1947 that the engagement of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten to Princess Elizabeth was announced, a month after her 21st birthday and just after the royal family returned from their visit to South Africa and surrounding countries (watch videos below).
Prince Philip designed Queen Elizabeth II’s 3-carat engagement ring himself, using diamonds from a tiara his mother (also a princess) had owned. He then made his wife a diamond bracelet as a wedding present from the rest of the tiara’s stones.
Their marriage took place at Westminster Abbey on 20 November that year.
“The Duke of Edinburgh was a loving husband and a devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The Queen and The Duke’s enduring marriage has seen them support each other through many years of Royal duties and raising a family together,” said the Royal Family.
Today England and the world join Queen Elizabeth II in bidding farewell to her loyal husband of over seven decades.
What time is Prince Philip’s funeral?
Prince Philip’s funeral will take place today, beginning at 15h00 GMT (or 16h00 in South Africa). It will start with the nation observing a minute’s silence.
The procession itself technically begins 20 minutes earlier as Prince Philip’s coffin will be brought from Windsor Castle, with the royal family following in a funeral procession.
Much of the funeral has been pre-arranged by Prince Philip himself who did not want too much fuss.
The Royal Family said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was closely involved in the planning of his own Funeral. As a result, it will involve a number of unique touches which reflect his life and work.” One of these unique touches is a customised Land Rover which will carry his coffin; as well as two of his ponies who will pull a carriage he designed. The Duke took up carriage driving at the age of 50, and used to apparently delight his granddaughter Beatrice by picking her up in a carriage sometimes. He competed in carriage-driving events until 2003.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s two fell ponies – Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm – will pull a carriage designed by The Duke of Edinburgh.
At the age of 50 The Duke of Edinburgh took up carriage driving and competed in events until 2003. pic.twitter.com/97NOB5VERh
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 16, 2021
What is the order of service for Prince Philip’s funeral
The service is at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, and the hymns & readings have been chosen by The Duke.
“The Order of Service for the Funeral was agreed with The Duke of Edinburgh during his lifetime, and reflects The Duke’s military affiliations, and personal elements of His Royal Highness’ life. The Service will be led by the Dean of Windsor and prayers will be said by the Dean and the Archbishop of Canterbury,” said the Royal Family.
A small Choir of four will sing pieces of music chosen by The Duke. Due to the pandemic, there will be no congregational singing.
The Choir will sing ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’, an adaption of Psalm 104 and Benjamin Britten’s ‘Jubilate in C’, a piece specially commissioned by The Duke of Edinburgh for the St George’s Chapel Choir, which has been sung in the Chapel over many years.
The Dean will give the Commendation as the Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault. A Lament will be played by a Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The Last Post will be sounded by Buglers of the Royal Marines. After a period of silence, the Reveille will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry, both from the west end of the Nave.
WATCH Montage to Commemorate Prince Philip
The Royal Family has also today released a montage to “commemorate the extraordinary life of The Duke of Edinburgh, made unique by its sheer breadth of experience, and the wartime generation he was part of. With words by the Poet Laureate, The Patriarchs – An Elegy.”
Watch Prince Philip’s funeral streamed live:
You can watch the funeral from anywhere in the world on the Royal Family’s YouTube channel.
Archive Videos from Royal Visit to South Africa, 1947
In the meantime here are two videos from Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 trip to South Africa with her parents – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth – and her sister, Princess Margaret. It was the year she turned 21 (whilst in SA) and later married her prince.