Prince Philip service: When did the Duke die and why is his memorial happening earlier?

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Prince Philip’s life will be celebrated at a Service of Thanksgiving shortly before the first anniversary of his death which is little more than a week later. The event will enable attendees to fully commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh’s service to Britain after his funeral took place last year with a limited number of guests, owing to lockdown restrictions.

When did Prince Philip die?

Prince Philip died on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married for more than seven decades, and his death came just two months before he would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

At the time of his funeral, only 30 guests were permitted to attend, with the nation moved by pictures of the Queen sitting alone during the service, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Why is the memorial service happening before the anniversary of his death?

When the Service of Thanksgiving was announced last December, the Palace said the Queen had agreed upon a date for this spring, but no permanent fixture was revealed.

The Palace said at the time: “The Queen has agreed that a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will take place in the spring of 2022 at Westminster Abbey.”

In December, the UK was still under various Covid restrictions, which would have played a part in when Buckingham Palace eventually decided on a date.

Though the Queen is expected to attend the service, no official confirmation has been made.

The Queen has reduced the number of public appearances she has made in recent months following a bout of ill health and a Covid infection.

She could hold a more private ceremony closer to her husband’s death, with far fewer guests than the hundreds that are expected on Tuesday.

Members of the Royal Family who will be attending the service include The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, Peter Phillips, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

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Westminster Abbey will be where the Service of Thanksgiving to commemorate the Duke’s life is held.

According to the Abbey’s website, Philip had a long association with Westminster Abbey.

In fact, it was there that he married the Queen on November 20, 1947, before she ascended the throne in 1952.

Throughout their marriage, the Duke and the Queen also celebrated their Silver, Golden and Diamond wedding anniversaries with services in the Abbey.

Where can you watch Prince Philip’s memorial?

Beginning at 10.30am, the service will be televised live on BBC One, with coverage lasting until 12.15pm.

BBC News anchor, Huw Edwards, will present the programme – he also led the coverage of the Duke’s funeral last April.

Shortly after its broadcast, it will also become available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

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