Reflections on a royal funeral amid a pandemic

WINDSOR, England (AP) — As military bands played and a procession of royals escorted his coffin to the church, Prince Philip was laid to rest Saturday in a funeral ceremony that honored his lifetime of service to the U.K., the crown and his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II.

The widowed British monarch, setting an example amid the coronavirus pandemic, sat alone at the ceremony, dressed in black and with her head bowed in prayer.

Philip, who died on April 9, two months shy of his 100th birthday, was honored at Windsor Castle in a service that was steeped in military and royal tradition but also pared down and infused with his own personality. The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view on the grounds of the castle, a 950-year-old royal residence 20 miles (30 kilometers) west of London, but was shown live on television.

People across Britain observed one minute of silence in honor of Philip just before the funeral got underway.

Coronavirus restrictions meant that instead of the expected 800 mourners, only 30 people were allowed inside the castle’s St. George’s Chapel, including the queen, her four children and her eight grandchildren.

Following the strict social distancing rules that England is still under, the queen set an example even in grief, sitting apart from family members who were arrayed around the church.

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Follow AP’s full coverage of the death of Prince Philip at https://apnews.com/hub/prince-philip

Source: AP Breaking News

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