All this week, details of the Funeral of HRH The Prince Philip have been presented by the BBC and Sky News. I prefer the BBC because it is more accurate or factual. It is interesting to note that the British Army has also made several short video on preparation for the funeral, from the horse grooming to various details on the funeral itself, troops involved, what music will be played and all of it with comments from the soldiers and officers involved.
The guest list is very interesting, the Queen made the final decision on who would be invited and limited the number to 30 instead of the usual 800. Prince Philip’s German relatives are invited, he belonged to the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg Family, this was his father Prince Andrew of Greece’s family name. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg changed to Mountbatten after 1917, she was also the sister of Lord Louis Mountbatten who was so influential in the life of his godson Philip. His sisters all married German Princes and three of them had husbands who joined the Nazi party. In 1947 at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, they were not invited. However in 1952 for the Coronation of now Queen Elizabeth, they were invited to attend and stood behind the seat of the Queen Mother at the service.
However his Royal Greek relatives including his Royal Spanish relatives or Royal Danish relatives or the Russian Romanovs where not invited due to Covid restrictions.
The invited German relatives are Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden, Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse, Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Prince Philip was their uncle.
At the service on the Altar of St-George’s Chapel will be 9 cushions with his British, Greek, Danish, Canadian and Australian decorations, there are also 61 other decorations received from various countries but they will not be displayed because it would be too much. Prince Philip chose the honours and medals to be displayed. Some have to be returned to the Sovereign after the recipient dies, the Order of the Garter returns to Queen Elizabeth and the Order of the Elephant of Denmark returns to Queen Margarete. All other medals and honours will be inherited by Queen Elizabeth. Same with his titles, that of Duke of Edinburgh now passes to his son Prince Charles.
His coffin of Oak lined with lead will be draped in his personal standard. The Oak comes from the Windsor forest and is made by the Royal Family’s coffin maker and embalmer, Leverton & Sons Ltd. The description below refers to who Prince Philip was. A Ducal crown, top with a Knight helmet and a Prince’s crown with plumes. Flanked by a savage or Hercules crowned with laurels.
The crest with the 3 blue lions and 9 hearts represents Denmark on his father’s side the white cross on blue is for Greece,Philip was Heir to the Greek Throne, the castle is for Edinburgh castle and the black and white stripes is the imperial colours of Prussia and Saxony, his German ancestry. His motto was God is my Help and the other motto Honni Soit Qui Mal Y Pense, is that of all British Sovereign.
All the decisions about the Funeral were made by the Queen and followed instructions given over a period of 16 years by Prince Philip who planned his own funeral including the design of the Landrover which will carry his coffin.
The Queen will sit by herself in the chapel during the service in what is designated as the Sovereign’s chair. Every male will wear Morning Dress or a dark suit, no military uniforms, this to avoid having both Andrew and Harry out of uniform since they no longer have any association with the military and the rest of the Princes in uniform, a wise choice. However they will all probably wear their military medals.
After the funeral the casket of Prince Philip will be lowered into the vault of St-George’s Chapel to rest with the other kings of the Hanoverian Dynasty ancestors of his wife the Queen, until the day both are laid to rest in the small chapel where Her father King George VI and her Mother and Princess Margaret are buried.
Also this week some interesting personal details about Prince Philip, he loved good food and was a foodie and a master at the Bar-B-Q. Many of the dishes he liked were simple and easy to make, one dessert Crepes Islandaise, a recipe from Iceland, is a simple paper thin crepe stuffed with plum jam and fresh whip cream. He also spoke fluent German, French and English. He loved all kinds of sports and was good with people, though he could not tolerate fools and could then be quite rude.
I will be watching the funeral tomorrow at 10am my time, London is +5 hours ahead of us.