The Queen Just Made Her 1st Royal Appearance Since Her COVID Battle For Prince Phillip’s Memorial

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip

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After weeks of speculation over whether or not she would be present at the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth attended Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey in London alongside other members of the royal family.

The 95-year-old monarch honored her late husband’s life at a Service of Thanksgiving for the Duke of Edinburgh, which took place on March 29, 2022, nearly a year after his death in April 2021 at the age of 99. According to a press release by Buckingham Palace, Philip’s memorial service paid tribute to his commitment to his family, nation and the Commonwealth, along with acknowledging his service to the Armed Forces, charitable organizations and environmental issues throughout his lifetime.

Buckingham Palace also made note of arrangements that were initially planned for Philip’s funeral in 2021, yet were not able to be carried out at the time due to COVID-19 restrictions. For Philip’s memorial in 2022, the Queen was “actively involved” in arranging details to honor her husband’s original wishes during the service.

On the day of Philip’s memorial, the Queen arrived by car accompanied by her son, Prince Andrew. His sighting came amid public controversy surrounding his sexual assault allegations and purported relationship with the late convicted felon, Jeffrey Epstein. Nevertheless, the Queen chose to walk with Andrew by her side as she arrived to Philip’s memorial, wearing an emerald green hat and peacoat. The monarch’s arrival marked her first public royal appearance in five months following a series of recent health setbacks which culminated in a COVID-19 diagnosis in February 2022. While recovering, the monarch has canceled a series of in-person visits and continued to carry out light royal duties over Zoom.

Despite her recent health struggles, the Queen appeared to be in good strength at Philip’s memorial, standing to pray and sing anthems throughout the service. When she first arrived, she was guided to her seat on Andrew’s arm. She chose to sit next to Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Andrew, meanwhile, sat next to his younger brother Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Prince Philip’s memorial service included a number of heartfelt details to honor him after his death. According to People, the floral arrangements included white dendrobium orchids, which were part of the Queen’s wedding bouquet with Philip in 1947. The arrangements also featured sea holly, which spoke to the Duke of Edinburgh’s love of the sea and his career in the Navy. Prince Philip also chose a hymn to be sung at his funeral before his death. While there was no congregation present at his funeral in 2021 due to social distancing requirements, the hymn was finally included this year in his memorial service.

Britain Prince Philip Memorial

Image: Richard Pohle/Pool via AP.

Philip’s memorial service also included a thoughtful address by the Dean of Windsor, who said, “He would hate to think that I should paint a picture of him as a ‘plaster saint;’ someone without the usual human foibles and failings. He was far too self-aware ever to be taken in by flattery.”

“Of course, it must be said that his life bore the marks of sacrifice and service. Certainly, he could show great sympathy and kindness,” he continued. “There is no doubt that he had a delightfully engaging, and often self-deprecating, sense of humor. It is quite clear that his mind held together both speculation and common sense.

“Moreover, nobody would ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to our Queen and to their family. Yet, there were times when he could be abrupt; maybe, in robust conversation, forgetting just how intimidating he could be. A kind of natural reserve sometimes made him seem a little distant. He could be somewhat sharp in pricking what he thought to be bubbles of pomposity or sycophancy. On the other hand, we should not forget that he himself was sometimes wounded by being unfairly criticized or misunderstood.

Britain Prince Philip Memorial

Image: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP.

“Like the rest of us, he was part of flawed humanity. Unlike most of us, however, he was one of those rare people who remained true to, and guided by, what you might call ‘an inner spiritual compass;’ a sense of being called to play a part in the making of a God-intended world.

“As we give thanks for the life of a remarkable man, perhaps our greatest tribute to him, most especially in these far too troubled times, will be for us to accept the challenge, implicit in his life, to rekindle in our hearts something of that call, and to pray (as I think he did) for the inspiration and the guidance to play our part, however small, in working for a kinder future.”

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Image: Courtesy of Random House.

For more about the British royal family, check out Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
The New York Times bestseller, which includes the “real story” behind several storylines featured in Netflix’s The Crown, follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her childhood as the “heiress presumptive” to her father, King George VI; to the moment he et her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13 years old; to her ascension to the throne at 25 years old in 1952. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-revealed documents, provides a deep dive into the Queen’s legacy as one of the most famous monarchs in recent history.

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