Prince Philip funeral: Palace releases order of service
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Today is the day the Royal Family and its supporters have been waiting for for the past week, the funeral of Prince Philip. The Duke of Edinburgh sadly passed away two Fridays ago, at Windsor Castle, aged 99. His funeral will be a seriously scaled-down version due to the coronavirus pandemic, with no member of the public able to attend.
A slim guest list of 30 royals and close family will travel to St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, this afternoon.
An illustrious life, Philip met with the rich, famous and noteworthy during his time.
He once described himself as an expert at “opening your mouth and putting your foot in it” given his near-constant gaffes and gags, and willingness to say whatever he wanted during public outings.
One of these came when he met with the legendary musician Sir Elton John in the late Seventies, a run-in that Sir Elton recalled in his autobiography, ‘ Me, John’.
The singer has previously opened up about his passion for football and how important it had been for him to become the chairman of his football club, Watford, in 1976.
In a nod to the team, he bought an Aston Martin and painted it an eye-catching yellow, adding a thick red and black stripe racing down the middle.
He regularly drove the car around the area near his home in Old Windsor, much to the dismay of Philip.
Recalling an excerpt from the book for the Daily Mail in 2019, Sir Elton wrote: “I didn’t realise how much attention it had attracted until I was introduced to Prince Philip.”
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Philip asked Sir Elton if he lived near Windsor Castle, to which he confirmed he did.
Philip continued: “Have you seen the bloody idiot who drives around that area in his ghastly car?
“It’s bright yellow with a ridiculous stripe on it. Do you know him?”
Sir Elton was forced to admit that he was the owner of that car.
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He said Philip “seemed quite pleased” that he had found the owner, as he said: “What the hell are you thinking? Ridiculous.
“Makes you look like a bloody fool. Get rid of it.”
It is worth noting that this was the first time the Duke and Sir Elton had ever met.
The singer was a favourite of the royals having previously sparked a friendship with Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong Jones.
In the following years he would strike a bond with Princess Diana.
The two first met in 1981 at Prince Andrew’s birthday party at Windsor Castle, falling out years later, only to reconcile six weeks before her death and going on to perform at her funeral.
Meanwhile, the Duke’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen, service to the nation and “courage” will be celebrated at his funeral today.
His time with the Royal Navy and love of the sea will be a focus of the ceremony.
However, no sermon will be delivered, in line with his wishes.
His coffin will be placed on a modified Land Rover that he himself helped to design, a nod to his passion for design and engineering.
Ahead of the funeral, the Queen shared her favourite photograph of herself with Philip, showing the couple in Aberdeenshire.
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