The Queen farewelled Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years, on Saturday, marking the end of their enduring love story at a socially distanced funeral service at St. George’s Chapel. The funeral captivated the world, but it was one heartwarming detail in particular that touched the hearts of onlookers – the Queen’s handwritten note to her late-husband signed off with her nickname, Lilibet.
The handwritten note was nestled into the flowers atop Philip’s coffin, the name Lilibet scrawled across the envelope in the Queen’s cursive handwriting. The nickname was given to the Queen as a child and it’s believed Philip was the last person to call her by the name.
Understandably, Buckingham Palace has refused to say what was in the note, telling People it was “private”.
The funeral was streamed live in Australia in the early hours of Sunday, April 18, with Australians watching on as the royal family bid farewell to Prince Philip, who died on April 9, aged 99, in a solemn and dignified event befitting the man who contributed so tirelessly to the public for 73 years.
The funeral service was steeped in military and royal traditions but was marked without crowds amid strict pandemic guidelines. In the dignified ceremony, the Queen sat alone in the pews, her face covered by a black mask and her head bowed. Only 30 mourners were allowed to attend and only those in the same family bubble were allowed to sit together. While many of the other attendees had their partner’s hand to hold, the Queen had none.
The rules mean Prince Harry also cut a lonely figure as he farewelled his grandfather, with his wife Megan, Duchess of Sussex, unable to attend due to her pregnancy.
Lady Louise Windsor, the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, paid special tribute to her grandfather with a touching detail in her outfit. Wearing all black, the 17-year-old pinned an equestrian brooch to her chest, a nod to her and Philip’s shared passion for horse riding.
The funeral was filled with personal touches honouring Philip, including his four-wheeled carriage carrying his cap, gloves and whip, and a small container with sugar lumps for his beloved Fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm, and the custom-made Land Rover, designed by the duke himself, to carry his coffin to the chapel.
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