How the UK newspapers reacted to Philip's funeral

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·6-min read

Watch: Queen sits alone as she bids farewell to Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip’s funeral is dominating newspaper front pages this morning.

The Royal Family said goodbye to the Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday.

Just 30 guests attended the intimate funeral which was restricted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Most British papers led with poignant photos of the Queen sitting alone near her late husband’s coffin.

Read: William and Harry walk apart behind Philip's coffin – 23 years after walking behind Diana's

Speculation of Prince William and Prince Harry’s reunion amid their strained relationship was also widespread.

Here we take a look at the front pages of national papers the morning after Prince Phillip’s funeral.

Sunday Mirror

The Sunday Mirror led with:
The Sunday Mirror led with: "The loneliest goodbye".

The Sunday Mirror was among the newspapers highlighting Queen’s solitude in St George’s Chapel with the headline: “The loneliest goodbye.”

Inside, Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, said he believed her work would help her carry on during what is going to be one of the most difficult periods of her life.

The newspaper also gave a step-by-step picture guide to explain how Harry and William started the afternoon "solemn and tense", and ended up "side by side".

The Sunday Telegraph

"Sitting alone, the Queen bids her final farewell"
"Sitting alone, the Queen bids her final farewell"

"Sitting alone, the Queen bids her final farewell", said The Sunday Telegraph.

Inside, Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson wrote the "brutality of social distancing only heightened the widow's loneliness. How many millions of viewers yearned to reach out and metaphorically embrace their beloved Queen?"

The paper's editorial said the service had "the reassurance of tradition".

"Her Majesty, now 94, remains our most valuable connection to the past, to an era, we sense, that was tough but in which people were willing to make tremendous sacrifices in order to secure a better future," it said, adding "the nation wishes its Queen health and happiness".

Sunday Express

'You're not alone Ma'am
'You're not alone Ma'am"

The Sunday Express splashed with a message of support on its front page, saying "You're not alone Ma'am" while adding "we all share her grief".

In an editorial, the Express also praised the duke's lifetime of service and said the "ramrod straight" events at Windsor seemed reassuring and crystal-clear compared with ongoing rows at Whitehall.

"Philip's death is all the more noble and his royal role all the more instructive as it's been played out against the seedy, backbiting political world of cronyism and lobbying," the paper said. "Our political leaders had barely drawn breath after paying parliamentary tributes to the Duke before returning to their bickering about whose snout should be in which trough."

The Mail On Sunday

The Mail led with the Queen, saying: 'It was a fitting farewell, Ma'am
The Mail led with the Queen, saying: 'It was a fitting farewell, Ma'am".

The Mail On Sunday's headline said: "It was a fitting farewell, Ma'am".

But the paper also reported that the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex are talking again.

Inside, the Mail on Sunday report commented on the monarch's image as a model of stoic constancy, but said: "Never was the blast of goodwill from her country needed most than when she stood - desolate, masked, alone, without even a hand to squeeze - watching the coffin bearing her husband of 73 years sink dramatically beneath the chapel's marble floor".

The Observer

"Queen alone with her thoughts as Duke laid to rest"
"Queen alone with her thoughts as Duke laid to rest"

The Observer led with the headline: "Queen alone with her thoughts as Duke laid to rest".

Like other papers, the paper chose a picture of the monarch sitting alone on the bench in St George's chapel.

Daily Star Sunday

"Bless her," wrote the Star.
"Bless her," wrote the Star.

The Daily Star Sunday runs with a simple "Bless her" alongside a picture of the Queen at the funeral.

Alongside a photo of her sitting alone, it added: “Our Queen, truly alone for the first time in 73 years.”

Inside, the newspaper also reported on Prince Harry and Prince William meeting again after a year saying: “Reunited for their grandad.”

The Sunday Times

"Forced to mourn alone, the Queen bids Philip goodbye"
"Forced to mourn alone, the Queen bids Philip goodbye"

The Sunday Times - inside a wrap-around pictorial special on the ceremony - commented on the Queen being "forced to mourn alone".

The paper also turned part of its focus onto her heir, the Prince of Wales.

A column by Andrew Marr headed "Philip energised the Firm. Can Charles repeat the trick?" said Charles would "need to make peace with Harry and keep Britain fascinated by the royal family".

Foreign Papers

The New York Times's main story led, however, on "what seemed like a slight easing in the strained relations" between William and Harry during the service, above a smaller story on the service under the headline: "Seeing the Queen alone added a painful note for many watching from home."

Watch: William and Harry leave chapel together after ceremony

The Washington Post echoed that theme with its headline: "Image of Queen sitting at funeral alone breaks hearts".

In France, Le Figaro gave considerable coverage to the funeral, with an analysis pondering momentarily whether the loss of her husband could prompt the Queen to abdicate.

"Without overestimating the strengths of Elizabeth II, the most likely is that she continues to cope. Alone, weakened, but standing and her voice firm, as in her recent speeches. Duty above all, always," the analysis said.

In Spain, El Pais borrowed somewhat from Winston Churchill with its headline: "The funeral of Philip of Edinburgh marks the beginning of the end of an era in the UK".

Read more:

Duchess of Cambridge pays final respects to Prince Philip in first royal funeral

Prince Philip funeral: Where the 30 guests sat in St George's Chapel

"Throughout the week, the media and institutions have devoted themselves to extolling, through the memory of the Duke of Edinburgh, the seven decades of stability provided by the second Elizabethan era," the paper's article said.

"Each reaffirmation of the value of the monarchy was a reminder that an era is ending."

Italy's La Repubblica gave a florid account of the funeral as it also looked ahead to the new royal era, detailing that the Queen looked "shrunken in pain and loneliness against COVID".

"God save the Queen, today more necessary than ever after the ominous farewell to her beloved consort," the paper said.

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald also focused on the Queen, saying the service was a reminder that "for the first time since ascending to the throne nearly seven decades ago, she now carries the weight of the monarchy alone".

Watch: Prince Philip's funeral felt like an intimate family occasion - as the Royal Family says farewell