The Secret Way The Queen Left A Message For Prince Philip At His Funeral

Prince Philip may have spent the last few years of his life planning the details for his funeral (via The Independent), but his wife Queen Elizabeth II played a great role in executing his wishes, along with adding touches of her own — and this included the funeral wreath, cap, and sword that lay on top of his coffin as it moved from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel. Hello! says the wreath, which brought together a collection of white flowers, including lilies, roses, freesia, waxflower, sweet peas, and jasmine, were selected with their more than 70 years of marriage in mind. 

While lilies are used at weddings and funerals, the white roses were a symbol of Prince Philip's birth month. Sweet peas are meant to be a symbol of departure or thanks, and the wax flower is a sign of lasting love. The Telegraph, meanwhile, says that the military cap and sword were gifts to Prince Philip from his father.

Prince Philip did not get a state funeral

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married for 73 years, and the prince, who is also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, is being remembered for his loyalty not just to his wife, the queen, but also to the country. 

Prince Philip, who his wife called her "strength and stay" did not have a state funeral, but his was a ceremonial one — NBC News says the proceedings mirrored that of the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002. As he had planned, Prince Philip's coffin was moved from the castle to the chapel in a Land Rover that he himself designed 18 years ago. The Order of Service featured songs, readings, and prayers that he had selected.

It appeared that the prince was as pragmatic about death as he was about life. During an interview with the BBC in celebration of his 90th birthday, he had said, "I reckon I've done my bit. It's better to get out before you reach the sell-by date."

Queen Elizabeth's note to her 'strength and stay' Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth didn't just use flowers to communicate the depth of her feelings for the Duke of Edinburgh. Eagle-eyed viewers spotted a card resting amid the sentimental funeral wreath, which E! said looked like a note written using the queen's stationery. Most of what the card said was shielded by the heartbreaking arrangement, but The Telegraph reports that it read "In loving memory."

The touching tribute from the queen to her husband brought back memories of a similar tribute seen during the 1997 funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, when three wreaths were placed on top of her coffin during her funeral. One came from her brother, sisters, and mother; another came from Prince William; while a third from Prince Harry, who was only 12 at the time. His funeral wreath was made with white roses and a heartbreaking card which read "Mummy" (via CNN).

The queen made sure Prince Philip's carriage ponies were at the event

While the queen also made sure that Prince Philip's coffin had his cap and sword, there was another heartbreaking detail that many of us might have missed. To pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh's love for carriage driving, his cap, gloves, and whip were laid on the seat of an aluminum-and-steel cab designed by the duke himself, and pulled by his two ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm. The Telegraph says Balmoral Nevis was bred by the queen. The ponies' grooms, who were also present during the ceremony, were part of Prince Philip's team for nearly two decades.

The Telegraph says Prince Philip had taken up carriage driving when he turned 50, and had actually competed in events for more than 30 years until 2003. After that, he had to content himself with driving around the royal properties. Before he passed away, Philip managed to get other people in his family hooked on the sport: Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and her daughter, Lady Louise Windsor.