Yesterday, the royal family gathered at St. George Chapel for the funeral of Prince Philip, who died at 99-years-old on April 9. Due to COVID-19, only about 30 mourners were able to attend the service on April 17, but the public was able to watch the proceedings at home via live broadcasts.
In a touching moment, Queen Elizabeth left a handwritten note on her late husband’s coffin that was signed with her childhood nickname, “Lilibet.” Although it hasn’t been confirmed, People reports that Prince Philip was believed to be the last person to ever use the epithet.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married in 1947 and were together for 73 years. However, according to royal biographer A.N. Wilson, a young Princess Elizabeth was warned not to marry the Greece-born prince because of their different personalities.
“[Queen Elizabeth II] is a very reserved, diligent person. He isn’t. He was a naval officer and he was also quite funny,” Wilson said, according to Insider. At 21 years old, the queen was told by advisers that Prince Philip was “entirely the wrong person to choose.” Obviously, she chose to marry him anyway and the pair shared a strong bond.
In fact, Prince Philip’s humor is what many remember most fondly. “I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days,” his grandson, Prince William, wrote in his own tribute. “I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!”
Prior to the funeral procession, the monarch opted to share a private photo of her husband from the top of the Coyles of Muick, Scotland in 2003. “Her Majesty and the Royal Family are grateful for all the messages of condolence from around the world and have been touched to see and hear so many people sharing fond memories of The Duke, in celebration of his life.”