Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was a more understated affair than usual, with just 30 mourners in attendance and a scaled-back military procession.
But according to royal historian Marlene Koenig, the late Duke of Edinburgh would’ve approved.
“It was what he wanted, although it was slimmed down,” she told Page Six. “He wanted it to have his own personality, even designing the hearse from a Land Rover that almost looked like a fancy pickup truck.”
Koenig pointed to the presence of Prince Philip’s beloved driving carriage and ponies as another of the “lovely touches” that reflected his life and interests.
As for the lack of eulogies? That choice was made “for the simple reason that he didn’t want it to really focus on him,” Koenig said. “There’s so many accomplishments, but I think he was content for those to be left to the obituary writers, and let the ceremony be a reflection of his Christian faith and the simplicity of his own life.”
Guests at the funeral brought their own special symbolism to the proceedings as well — particularly Kate Middleton, who wore a four-strand Japanese pearl choker from the Queen’s collection, along with earrings made from pearls Her Majesty received as a wedding gift when she married Prince Philip in 1947.
“She did look very elegant, and she was sending a very subtle symbol that this necklace and these earrings represented part of Philip’s life with the Queen,” the royal historian noted.
One meaningful gesture Koenig said may have fallen flat, however, stems from the wreath Meghan Markle sent for the ceremony, along with a handwritten card.
Instead, she sent along a wreath of locally sourced and highly symbolic flowers — including blooms representing Prince Philip’s Greek heritage, birth month and more — which were outlined in a press release, a move Keonig called “unusual.”
“The royal family doesn’t usually say, ‘Well, this [wreath’s] from Charles, this one’s from Andrew, this one’s from Beatrice,” she told us. “I think it was a little bit drawing attention back to them rather than just not saying anything at all … The original statement that her doctor advised her not to go, I think, was the best way to go.”
Koenig added that “the only wreath of interest was the one placed on the casket that was from Queen Elizabeth; tucked inside was a personal note from her.”
There was also a lot of chatter over estranged brothers Prince William and Prince Harry’s seemingly amiable chat after the funeral. Lip readers even tried to decipher exactly what the future king and his little brother conversed about. However, Koenig believes this is just the beginning of a potential reconciliation for the pair.
“I think it will take far more than a walk up the hill to the private apartments of Windsor Castle for William and Harry to sit down and discuss all the issues and alleged issues,” she explained, adding that she feels Harry should consider staying in town for his grandmother’s 95th birthday on Wednesday to spend some more time with his family.
“They do need to talk to each other,” she said.