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In first public appearance in months, British queen attends husband's memorial service

By Aditi Khanna
Last updated on: March 29, 2022 18:17 IST
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II made her first public appearance in months to attend a special thanksgiving memorial service for her late husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London on Tuesday.

IMAGE: Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Anne Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, attend a service of thanksgiving for late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, March 29, 2022. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters

The 95-year-old monarch, who has been largely working remotely from her Windsor Castle residence since recovering from COVID-19 last month, was accompanied by other senior royals at the ceremony for the Duke of Edinburgh, who died last year aged 99.

 

Special measures have been put in place for the Queen, who has been experiencing some age-related mobility issues, including keeping the length of the service to 45 minutes.

"He was one of those rare people who remained true to and guided by what you might call an inner spiritual compass," said Right Revd David Conner, Dean of Windsor, as he praised Prince Philip's "courage, integrity, steadfastness and sense of purpose" during the service.

The special event was organised as a celebration of the Duke's public service and a "long life lived fully". Representatives of many charities, including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, were in attendance, including members of European royal families.

"In 1956, when The Duke of Edinburgh created the award, he had a vision to create a programme which supported the development of young people all over the world,” said Doyin Sonibare, a Gold Award Holder of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, in a tribute to the late royal's legacy.

The Queen travelled to the service with her younger son, Prince Andrew -- the Duke of York. It marked Andrew's first public appearance since the settlement of a civil sex assault case in the US and is being seen as an indication of the monarch's support for her son.

Her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, and wife Camilla, as well as grandson Prince William and wife Kate Middleton were also in attendance with two of their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte. It had been announced earlier that her other grandson, Prince Harry, would not be travelling from California to attend the service. Other guests included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior political leaders.

At the time of Prince Philip's death on April 9, 2021, the UK was under lockdown rules which meant funeral services were limited to 30 guests. The Westminster Abbey service had been announced as a way to celebrate the Duke's life and work, with the congregation including representatives of some of the 700 charitable organisations that he supported.

The Queen and Prince Philip were married for 73 years. 

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Aditi Khanna in London
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