Their final goodbyes. The British royal family gathered at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to pay their respects to Prince Philip on Saturday, April 17.
Queen Elizabeth II‘s late husband, who died on April 9 at age 99, was laid to rest with Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry in attendance. The family dressed in black to mourn and wore face masks to keep themselves and others safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. Inside the chapel, those who came together to pay their respects were seated somewhat far apart to keep in line with social distancing guidelines. The queen, 94, sat by herself.
Shortly after Buckingham Palace confirmed that Philip “passed away peacefully” at home, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that the service would be ceremonial rather than the traditional state funeral, partially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They do not want his death to have a negative impact on the U.K.’s pandemic protocols,” the insider added, noting that “only a select few will attend” in accordance with the government’s health and safety guidelines.
With the country still under lockdown until June, the royal family asked that mourners refrain from assembling outside of the palace to lay flowers prior to the late Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial. Instead, a statement from the establishment suggested those who are interested in honoring Philip make a charitable donation or leave a tribute in an online book of condolences on the royal family’s website.
Messages from world leaders, celebrities and everyday citizens flooded in after news broke of Philip’s passing, paying homage to the former naval cadet’s decades of service to his country and family. Charles, 72, remembered his “remarkable, devoted” father with an emotional address one day after his death.
“As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure,” Philip’s eldest son told reporters of his “dear papa” last week. “Apart from anything else … I’m so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and in the Commonwealth who also share our loss and our sorrow. … We are deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”
The Prince of Wales was joined by his sons in celebrating the royal patriarch’s legacy. Harry returned home to London on Monday, April 12, after a second source exclusively revealed that he felt “guilty” about not giving his grandfather a proper goodbye. The Duke of Sussex traveled without his wife, Meghan Markle, whose doctors deemed that she was too far along in her second pregnancy to safely fly. (The couple also share 23-month-old son Archie.)
While she wasn’t able to show her support for the royal family in person, Today reported that the Suits alum, 39, sent a personalized wreath and handwritten note to be laid at the service.
Though the entire family was “devastated” by Philip’s death, a third insider told Us that the late royal’s relatives were able to find “a lot of comfort in knowing” he was by his wife’s side in his last moments.
“His final days were very peaceful,” the source added. “Spending time with Elizabeth, communicating with other loved ones, reading and relaxing in his home environment meant everything to Philip.”