Funeral ‘typically Philip and all the better for it’ – royal author

Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter
·2-min read

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was “typically Philip and all the better for it”, a royal author has said.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, pointed to the “quirky touches” and “very moving aspects”, such as the duke’s carriage with his gloves, cap and jar of sugar lumps for the horses and the Land Rover hearse.

“It was a very fitting tribute and send off in the most difficult circumstances,” Mr Little told the PA news agency.

Duke of Edinburgh funeral
The Duke of Edinburgh’s driving carriage arrives ahead of the funeral at Windsor Castle (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“It’s what the duke wanted in so many ways but he wouldn’t have envisaged it involving so few people.

“Visually I thought it was quite stunning and the perfect spring day made it all the more so.”

Mr Little added: “It was very traditional, but with quirky touches and some very moving aspects – the duke’s carriage with his gloves and cap and the jar of sugar lumps for the horses.

“I thought that was a really sweet gesture and other examples throughout the day such as the Land Rover hearse.

“So much of it was typically Philip and all the better for it.”

Duke of Edinburgh funeral
A Land Rover Defender carried the duke’s coffin (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mr Little said the only downside was that so few people were allowed into St George’s Chapel because of the pandemic.

“I think it would have been even more uplifting had it taken place with a full congregation and a full choir,” he said.

The royal expert said the Queen retained her composure behind her mask.

“The Queen coped in exactly the way that you would expect the Queen to cope,” he said.

“At no point was she ever likely to crumble – the composure remained even behind the mask.

“She is great in situations such as this. Inside, obviously she will be devastated.”

Of the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, who were seen speaking together afterwards, Mr Little suggested it was an encouraging sign they might heal their rift.

“It was very interesting to see that at the end, when they were probably oblivious to still being filmed that they were having a dialogue, and it looked like quite a long one,” he said.

“I thought that was an encouraging sign that you would hope leads on to bigger and better things, but the fact that it happened at all, I thought was promising.”