Queen Elizabeth II said goodbye to her Prince Philip at his funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday, alone in her pew but joined in grief by the royal family and millions watching across the globe.
For seven decades, she has been sovereign of her realms, but Elizabeth — who appeared to dab away a tear before the service — seemed poignantly small under the echoing stones of St. George’s Chapel, lowering her head to mourn her beloved consort of 73 years, as widows of any rank and fortune might.
Just 30 black-clad mourners were allowed inside the medieval chapel on the grounds of the 950-year-old castle for the last farewell and Royal Vault interment of Philip, who died April 9 at age 99.
The queen, 94, sat alone due to strict social-distancing restrictions, but nearby her four children — Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward — were seated in groups with their own children.
Charles, 72, the future king, fought back tears as he led the foot procession of his father’s coffin from castle to church.
He and his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, blinked back still more tears during the low-key service, which started 3 p.m. after a minute of silence observed across the United Kingdom.
“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith,” the dean of Windsor, David Conner, said in his call to prayer.
Perhaps the biggest mystery of the intimate ceremony — would there be frost or tenderness between Charles’ two feuding sons, Prince William, an eventual king, and his royalty-renouncing brother, Prince Harry — unfolded with quiet dignity.
William, 38, and Harry, 36, had marched to the church separated by their cousin, Peter Phillips, and sat separately throughout the 50-minute service.
Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, who is seven months pregnant with their second child, a girl, remained home in Los Angeles.
Markle watched the funeral like everyone else — on TV — although she sent a wreath and handwritten card to the chapel.
“They know it is not about them on Saturday — it is about honoring their grandfather’s memory and…
Read More News: Grace and grief as Prince Philip is laid to rest