Beneath unbroken blue skies, the mood among those who had congregated outside Windsor Castle to remember Prince Philip remained resolutely sombre.
Despite being urged not to travel to Windsor, many people decided to do so anyway. Chris Imafidon had travelled from Essex to pay his respects; the 60-year-old director of a scheme that helps youngsters reach their potential praised the Duke of Edinburgh for having a “massive impact” on his career.
Others had arrived at 5am, beating most of the hundreds of television cameras and journalists that had gathered from across the world to cover the event.
Among them was Charlie Spear, who said: “It’s almost like we have lost one of our own today. When you talk to local residents, everybody says it’s like losing your neighbours.”
Nearby was a teenager, Alfie McCarthy, who revealed that Philip had inspired him to join the Royal Engineers. “My grandad, my cousins are in the army, and I’ll hopefully be joining in September,” said the 16-year-old.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the royal family, especially with the things they have done in the past. Prince Philip spent so much time in the navy, becoming a general, which means a lot to me,” he added.
Away from Windsor, the Duke of Edinburgh was remembered in a variety of traditional – and occasionally novel – ways across the UK.
Five hundred miles north and several thousand feet higher, a royal standard fluttered from the peak of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.
Further south, identical flags were raised on the highest point of England and Wales, Scafell Pike and Snowdon respectively.
Most of the population paid their respects with silence: millions fell quiet at the national pause for reflection at 3pm. Silence supervened even at some of the country’s noisiest destinations: less than 10 miles east of Windsor, the roar of jet engines at Britain’s busiest airport abruptly ceased as no planes took off or landed for six minutes at Heathrow.
Elsewhere, Philip was remembered with thunderous explosions. Ceremonial gunfire rattled out at nine locations across the UK and in Gibraltar to mark the end of the national minute’s silence.
Earlier there had been more muted displays of remembrance. At midday, 10 racing pigeons – one for every decade of the duke’s life – had been released in 65 cities and towns across the UK as a tribute to the duke, an avid fan of the sport.
The birds would undoubtedly have flown above numerous buildings – police headquarters, fire stations, council buildings and landmarks such Leeds castle – whose flags had been lowered to half-mast.
In Scotland, he was also remembered with numerous tributes. At Hopeman harbour in Moray, where the young Philip learned to sail, a wreath was laid off the coast. On the shore, a lone student piper played, sporting the duke’s coat of arms. More than 100 miles along the coast at Aberdeen, a sand artist sketched a large portrait of him.
Tributes also came in from Malta, where the dilapidated villa that Philip once shared with the Queen is to be turned into a museum. Villa Guardamangia, an 18th-century mansion on the edge of the capital, Valletta, is to be returned to the condition it was in when it housed the royal couple, a time they called one of the happiest of their lives.
With Covid restrictions preventing large public gatherings, it was unsurprising that most tributes were modest in scale and deeply personal. Many elected to post them on social media. Among these were images of mourners knitting tributes to the duke; others chose to wear union jack socks or place union jack bow ties on their cats. One mourner even erected a Christmas tree adorned with memorabilia celebrating the life of the duke.
Internationally, the funeral was an important event for many. In the US, several major networks offered live coverage, including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, suggesting that even without the Duchess of Sussex, the royal family still remains a huge draw across the Atlantic.
Closer to home, citizens of Denmark and Greece were closely following events: both were remembered in the duke’s funeral service, with the insignia of the two nations lying on the altarin a remembrance of his heritage.