How Prince Philip's Funeral Had A Subtle Tribute To Princess Diana

A funeral for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was held on April 17, 2021. The service took place at St. George's Chapel, located on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where Philip drew his last breath on April 9, 2021. Philip's immediate family, including his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, his four children, and his eight grandchildren, were in attendance, though his extended family was not expected to attend, due to restrictions put into place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Philip reportedly made it very clear that he did not want a major fuss made following his death, according to the Independent. It is believed that his requests are being honored, and that is likely why he will not lie in state. However, there were quite a few special touches added to Philip's funeral procession and service. While subtle, these special additions hold great meaning to Philip and to his family. One of those additions is a nod to his late daughter-in-law, Princess Diana, according to The Sun. Read on to find out what that will be.

Prince Philip shared a special bond with Princess Diana

Prince Philip's funeral included a song that was also played at Princess Diana's funeral, according to The Sun. "Rhosymedre" by Vaughn Williams was slated to be sung during the service, according to the report. The song was also played at both Prince William's wedding and Prince Harry's. Many say that Philip and Diana had a special bond. In fact, actor Tobias Menzies discussed his findings after he studied up on the Duke of Edinburgh's life for his role in The Crown

"I guess there are some similarities in that, you know, it's another outsider, a position that he obviously has been in. Maybe he has some kind of appreciation for the challenges that she's going through," Menzies told People magazine in 2020. "I think on a very basic level, he just thinks it's a good fit. In a slightly old-fashioned way, I think he also just liked her femininity, her beauty. He was sort of very seduced by her as well," he added. In addition, The Sun noted that Philip used to sign his letters to Diana "with fondest love, Pa."

Prince Philip likely chose this song because of its connection to Diana

For those who don't live in the U.K., "Rhosymedre" by Ralph Vaughn Williams is actually a very popular hymn, sometimes known as "Lovely," often reserved for weddings or funerals. It was written in the 19th century by a Welsh priest, John David Edwards. It was later remade by Ralph Vaughn Williams, and this is the version that is most well known. Per Express, Princess Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, requested the processional be played at her funeral. It was included in both Prince William and Prince Harry's weddings to honor her, too, and it's likely that Prince Philip knew exactly what he was doing by having it played at his funeral.

Philip reportedly took a very active role in planning his funeral. While he did not want to lie in state or have too much of a spectacle surrounding his death, these small touches speak to his personality. Another hymn played at the funeral, for example, was "Eternal Father, Strong to Save " a song that is traditionally associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services. In addition to the music, the funeral itself had similar aspects to Diana's. There were people walking behind the coffin, which was reminiscent of when Philip joined his grandsons in a similar procession at their mother's funeral. He even thought of transport — his coffin was carried from the state entrance of Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel in a Land Rover that he helped design.

Queen Elizabeth II sat alone during the funeral service

Prince Philip's funeral was moving, albeit a little strange given the protocols of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. For example, Queen Elizabeth II sat all by herself in the chapel, which had to be difficult given how Prince Philip was always by her side for more than 70 years.

As Christiane Amanpour noted for CNN, ever since he gave up his military career to become consort to his wife, Philip was never far away. She said, "He knelt in front of her during her coronation. He swore allegiance to her. He spent his life walking two paces behind her. The two of them embodied what is ending now — and there's no doubt about it, just like the World War II generation is ending — they embody the war sense of duty, of service, of getting on with it, as we've heard so many times. 'Keep calm and carry on,' that is not just a slogan. It is what this nation was about, ever since, you know, World War II, and that is coming to a close now."

Per Us Weekly, the queen was seen wiping away tears upon her arrival to her husband's funeral. Following his death, she released a statement saying, "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know." Surely, it will be a tough time for the monarch, but at least Philip's send off was everything he wanted.