Members of Britain’s royal family gathered on Tuesday to celebrate the life of Prince Philip, who died about a year ago at the age of 99.
Queen Elizabeth led the royal family in the service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey for her husband Philip, who is over 70 years old.
The 95-year-old queen has been battling health conditions for the past few months – including COVID-19 and Buckingham Palace has been admitted to a brief hospital as a “preliminary investigation” – so her presence was more notable.
The queen entered Westminster Abbey using a walking stick and held the hand of her son Prince Andrew, who agreed to settle the sexual harassment case last month. Andrew last appeared in public with the royal family last April, when the family gathered in London for Prince Philip’s funeral.
Philip is joined by the Queen to celebrate, in addition to Andrew, the couple’s three other children – Princess Charles and Edward and Princess Anne – and many grandchildren, including Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate.
Many grandchildren of Queen and Philip, including William and Kate’s two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, also attended the service.
Significantly absent from the service was Prince Harry, who stepped down from his senior royal role in 2020 and now lives in California with his wife, Megan, and their two children. A spokesman for Harry, the Duke of Sussex, confirmed earlier this month that he would not be joining.
Harry, who attended his grandfather’s funeral last April, has expressed concern about his safety in the UK. Earlier this year, he filed a legal challenge to have the UK government allow him to pay for his own police protection while in the UK.
The Thanksgiving service that Harry missed was much bigger than Prince Philip’s funeral, which was held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and had to be changed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
According to Buckingham Palace, the Queen was “actively involved” in planning the Thanksgiving service for her husband, “many elements reflecting His Majesty’s will”.
Led by the Dean of Westminster, the Thanksgiving service was “designed to honor the Duke of Edinburgh’s contribution to public life and to provide unwavering support to the more than 700 charities to which His Royal Highness has been associated throughout his life.” Palace.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the country’s longest reigning king, was known as one of the hardest working members of the royal family, along with Queen Elizabeth.
When he retired in 2017, at the age of 96, Philip had completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, giving 5,496 lectures on his travels to more than 76 countries, writing 14 books, sponsoring 785 organizations and making 637 solo overseas trips. At Buckingham Palace.
Tuesday’s service also highlighted Philip, a favorite of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award-winning program, which he launched in the 1950s to encourage young people to “serve their community” and “experience adventure,” according to the royal family’s website.
According to the palace, the only non-member of the clergy to speak at the service was Doin Soniber, recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
In addition to Philip’s family members, members of the royal family from around the world, including Spain, Sweden, Bahrain, Romania, Serbia, Norway and Greece, were also present at Tuesday’s service, according to Buckingham Palace.
Philip was born in Greece in 1921, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Her family was deported from Greece when she was a child and she spent some of her childhood in France.
He was known as Prince Philip of Greece until he became a British subject in 1947 and his title was abolished as Philip Mountbatten.
After his marriage to Elizabeth in 1947, he became Duke of Edinburgh.
A decade later, in 1957, Queen Philip was made “Prince of the United Kingdom”.