How Queen Elizabeth And Other Royals Subtly Honored Prince Philip At His Memorial Service

From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down as working members of the royal family, to Prince Andrew's sexual assault scandal, recent times haven't been easy for Queen Elizabeth II. But the hardest period may well have been the death of Prince Philip. The late Duke of Edinburgh was married to the queen for over 73 years, and died in April 2021. "He has, quite simply, been my main strength and stay all these years, and I ... owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know," the queen said, per Town and Country.

Due to the pandemic, the royal family was forced to hold a scaled-down funeral for Prince Philip, per Sky News. Only 30 mourners were permitted to attend, and Queen Elizabeth sat alone, as only members of the same households were allowed to sit together, according to CNN. However, though she may not have been able to mourn her late husband in a traditional way, the queen has still found ways to pay tribute to Prince Philip. As USA Today reported, she spoke lovingly of Philip during her televised Christmas speech in 2021 — her first since his death. In February 2022, she showed up to a Platinum Jubilee event holding one of Philip's walking sticks, per People. Now that the royal family is holding a memorial service for Philip one year after his death, members of the family are once again finding subtle ways to honor his legacy.

Some royal members wore green in honor of Prince Philip

Senior members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Princess Anne wore green to Prince Philip's memorial service, which was held at Westminster Abbey on March 29. According to People, the shade was reportedly chosen to honor the queen's late husband, whose livery color was Edinburgh Green. As Hello Magazine noted, the queen also wore a diamond and ruby brooch that Philip had gifted to her in 1966. Per the BBC, the church was filled with orchids, in reference to the flower in the queen's wedding bouquet.

As the outlet further noted, roughly 1,800 guests were in attendance at Philip's memorial. Because the queen has faced her own health issues over the past year, the ceremony was kept to a short 45 minutes to ensure her comfort. Her Majesty was also heavily involved in planning for the event. Under the queen's guidance, the entire ceremony featured subtle nods to her late husband — from the venue's entryway decor, to the special hymns played, according to the BBC.

As expected, several members of the royal family were in attendance, including Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank. While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were no-shows, royal watchers were probably more distracted by who Queen Elizabeth arrived with to notice the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's absence.

Queen Elizabeth showed her support for Prince Andrew

According to the Washington Post, many royal watchers were surprised when Queen Elizabeth was escorted to Prince Philip's memorial service by her son, Prince Andrew. Per the outlet, it marked his first public appearance since settling his sexual assault lawsuit more than one month ago. According to insiders, some senior members of the royal family objected to the move, but the queen "insisted" her son arrive at Westminster Abbey with her. "It shows she wholeheartedly loves and believes her son," royal commentator Robert Jobson told People. "She has faith in Andrew. Even if he disappears from public life, he's been able to pay tribute to his father, who after all, was very proud of his service in the Royal Navy, where he fought in the Falkland Islands conflict."

While she walked down the aisle of the church with Andrew, Queen Elizabeth sat with Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, during the service. Andrew sat across the aisle in the front row with his brother Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex. On her way out of the ceremony, the queen stopped to speak to a young woman who delivered a speech during the service. "She thanked me for my speech. She asked me when I did my Duke of Edinburgh Award," said Doyin Sonibare, a Gold Award Holder from The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, told People. "She was really lovely, really kind."