Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday bid farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, at a royal funeral like no other, restricted by coronavirus rules. Philip — described by royals as “the grandfather of the nation” — was Britain’s longest-serving royal consort and was married to the Queen for 73 years. The Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at age 99, was interred in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after a 50-minute service attended by just 30 guests. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, caught the attention of the paparazzi for her necklace at the funeral. Photos of the Duchess show Kate Middleton wearing pieces of jewellery with her solemn, all-black attire: dangling pearl earrings and a four-row pearl choker.The necklace stood out against the duchess’s dark Roland Mouret dress. Featuring four strands of pearls and a diamond clasp, the piece was reportedly a gift to the queen from the Japanese government, reports Harper’s Bazar. According to The Court Jeweller, The sovereign was previously seen wearing it during a visit to Bangladesh in the ’80s. Princess Diana also loaned the piece for a 1982 state visit to the Netherlands.The necklace also has more symbolic meaning than just the family heirloom: Her choice of jewellery offered a much-needed moment of uplift and joy. Of that, Prince Philip would surely approve, writes Vogue. In addition to the necklace, Middleton also sported a pair of the Queen’s Bahrain Pearl Earrings, made from pearls that were gifted to her Royal Majesty when she married Prince Philip.
Days before the funeral, Prince William shared a heartfelt tribute to Prince Philip on behalf of himself, Duchess Kate, and their children.
“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," part of his note read. “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!"
The coronavirus pandemic forced hasty revisions to the well-rehearsed plans for the duke’s death, code-named “Operation Forth Bridge”, stripping back public elements to prevent large crowds from gathering.
Government guidelines limited the number of mourners and a quartet performed hymns the duke chose himself in a barren nave stripped of seating.
The ceremonial funeral from behind the stately castle walls was broadcast live on television to millions across Britain and the world.
Beforehand, a military gun fired to signal a minute’s silence, when his coffin, draped in his standard and topped by a wreath of white roses and lilies from the Queen, his naval cap and ceremonial sword was borne by a bespoke Land Rover hearse he designed himself, arrived at the chapel.
Across Britain — on the streets, in shops, railway stations and at sporting events — people bowed their heads with respect.
Flights in an out of nearby Heathrow Airport were stopped for the duration of the ceremony.
Despite the restrictions, the stripped-down sendoff for the former Royal Navy commander still combined centuries of royal protocol with pomp, pageantry — and military precision.