Britain’s goodbye to Philip: A pared-down funeral, minute of silence and a solitary queen in a chapel #SootinClaimon.Com

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Britain’s goodbye to Philip: A pared-down funeral, minute of silence and a solitary queen in a chapel

Apr 18. 2021

By The Washington Post · William Booth, Karla Adam, Jennifer Hassan, Miriam Berger

LONDON – Prince Philip, the steadfast but irascible consort to the queen, who worked tirelessly to bolster the monarchy – but was most famous for his barbed gaffes – was celebrated in an intimate funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Just a few dozen members of the royal family were in attendance, all cloaked in black and wearing face masks.

“Powerful in its simplicity,” said a royal commentator watching the procession on BBC.

It was the less-grand funeral that Philip himself said he wanted. His coffin was transported via a camouflage green Land Rover that would have looked more at home at the family’s Balmoral Castle in the muddy moors of Scotland.

Compared to spectacular funerals past – for Princess Diana in 1997 or the Queen Mother in 2002 – Philip’s ceremony was stripped down to its bare bones, partly because of pandemic restrictions.

During a national moment of silence, one could hear birdsong in place of London’s normal buzz. Among the gestures to honor Philip, landing and takeoffs at nearby Heathrow International Airport were paused for the minute.

There was no public access to the funeral. In normal times, before this modern plague, such a royal farewell would have seen hundreds of guests from around the world, including global celebrities and heads of state, packed into Westminster Abbey. A horse-drawn cortege would have moved through the streets of London, lined with thousands of Brits in mourning.

But because of pandemic, which has taken the lives of 130,000 in Britain alone, strict coronavirus restriction allowed only 30 mourners, who sat in small family units in the empty stalls in the quire of St. George’s.

Most poignant of all perhaps was the image of Philip’s wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II, sitting hunched and small, all alone on a pew.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s children and grandchildren walked behind his coffin in a funeral procession, led by Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.

Prince William and Prince Harry were a few steps behind their father. Later, when they left the chapel, Harry was filmed chatting with William and his wife Catherine. The two brothers walked side by side for several minutes. It was the first time the brothers have been seen together since the scorching Oprah Winfrey interview last month.

Harry’s wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, did not attend, upon medical advice. She is pregnant and due to give birth to the couple’s second child this summer in California, where the couple now live.

Though the funeral may have been simple by royal standards, the procession across the grounds of Windsor Castle was attended by more than 730 members of the armed forces, many in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats.

As the bells of the castle’s Curfew Tower rang, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired off rounds of minute guns and a piping party from the Royal Navy blew their whistles.

The 94-year-old queen, her face obscured by a black mask, was escorted by a lady-in-waiting who sat with her in the royal Bentley as the national anthem rang out underneath blue skies at Windsor. It was the first time the reigning monarch has been seen in public since the death of Philip on April 9 at age 99.

There were readings by the Dean of Windsor David Conner and the Archbishop of Cantebury Justin Welby – but no eulogy. Conner praised Philip for his “kindness, humor and humanity” and the “many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us.”

Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, told The Washington Post that the British monarchy under Elizabeth, even without one of its most stalwart figures, will rumble on.

He noted that the queen has already held work “engagements” following the death of her husband, including holding a ceremony at Windsor Castle for a retiring royal aide. Those kind of events – along with her various broadcasts and video calls throughout the past year, including one where she urged Britons to get vaccinated – suggest she’s not at all thinking about stepping down as head of state.

“So long as her health permits,” he said, “the monarchy continues as it is.”

On a sunny spring day at Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the queen, people paused Saturday to pay their respects to Philip. There are several signs outside the palace gates asking people not to lay floral tributes. Still, people did. One card read, “Thank you for being absolutely bloody brilliant.”

James Conner, 62, a photographer who previously served in the Royal Navy, dropped by to soak in the scene. “He was an old sailor,” he said of Philip, who served in the Royal Navy and saw action in World War II. “People should be respectful of that. He was a sea dog who liked to have a laugh.”

For many of those gathered outside of Buckingham, the tributes to Philip also were bound tightly with questions about how 94-year-old queen will manage without her partner of more than seven decades.

“Most of the country are behind the queen, who is now seemingly alone,” said Richard Webb, 61.

Elizabeth, he added, was also “going through other stuff right now with her family.” Asked if he was referring the break by Harry and Meghan, known as Megxit, he said: “Yes.”

“The queen has tried not to inflame things as far as I can see,” he said. “Things must be very hurtful for Meghan and the whole family but my sympathies lie with the queen.”

Kate Hatt, 46, a teaching assistant from Kent, said she was unsure of the future of the British monarchy. “The Queen and Prince Philip are what we see as the traditional royal family,” she said. “So much has changed. When the queen goes, too, a lot of people’s respect for the royal family will go. We need to hold onto it while we can.”

Nigel Eggleton, 62, director of a bus company, said that he was visiting London on Saturday to pay his respects.

He said that Prince Philip will be remembered for his service to country and queen, for the youth award program that bears his name, and probably for his gaffes “which stick in the mind.”

But he added: “I suspect the majority of the country is thinking of the queen today.”

The royal family will now enter another two-week mourning period, during which they will continue to attend functions, often while wearing black bands.

In the days and weeks ahead, the family will also have to reckon with what Philip’s death means for the monarchy’s future. Among the many uncertainties is the exact role of the next Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke of Edinburgh title is set to pass eventually to Prince Edward, the youngest child of Philip and the queen who was promised the title on his wedding day in 1999. But because peerages are hereditary, on the day Philip died, his eldest son, Charles, inherited the title. Edward is unlikely to be granted the title officially until after the queen’s death, when Charles becomes king and his other titles can be regranted.

Tributes to Prince Philip continued to dominate the front pages of the British tabloids ahead of the funeral Saturday, with several newspapers running a never-before-seen photo Elizabeth and Philip from 2003.

In the photo, the couple look relaxed as they laze in the sunshine outside in the grounds of their Balmoral estate in Scotland. The queen opted to release the photo on Friday – the eve of Philip’s funeral. It is an image that shows the couple smiling, a hat perched on Philip’s knee as he beams alongside his wife. For many, it shows another side to one of the world’s most famous couples – one that reflects a moment of calm away from the intensity of the royal spotlight.

“Farewell my prince,” read the front cover of the Sun, which included a 28-page magazine dedicated to Philip inside Saturday’s edition.

The Daily Mail reported that the queen would say a private goodbye to her husband of seven decades ahead of the funeral. Its front cover read: “One last moment with her prince.”

Prince Harry to attend Philip’s funeral for just 30 mourners and ‘no public access’ #SootinClaimon.Com

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Prince Harry to attend Philip’s funeral for just 30 mourners and ‘no public access’

Apr 11. 2021

By The Washington Post · William Booth, Miriam Berger

LONDON – Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17 – but in keeping with government lockdown measures, the ceremony will be “much reduced in scale with no public access.”

The palace said the number of mourners will be limited to 30. Both the British government and the royal family asked the public to stay home rather than pay respects in person. There will be no public processions or viewings.

Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history and husband to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, and the royal family said he expressed his wishes for a low-key affair. He died Friday at age 99, just two months shy of the century mark. There will be eight days of national mourning.

Prince Harry will travel from Southern California to attend the funeral, but his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will not – based on medical advice, a spokeswoman for the couple said. Meghan is pregnant with their second child, due in the summer. She suffered a miscarriage last year, which she wrote about in the New York Times.

The funeral list is so tight that Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would not attend to open a spot for a member of the royal family. Philip and Elizabeth have four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, plus their spouses.

On Saturday, Prince Charles released a videotaped statement from his Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire. He emerged from the home, dressed in a blue suit and black tie, looking downcast and calling Prince Philip, “my dear papa.”

Charles began, speaking without notes: “I particularly want to say . . . My father, I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to the queen, to my family, and to the country, and also to the whole of the commonwealth. And, as you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously.”

“He was,” Charles added, “a much loved and appreciated figure.”

He ended: “Thank you. Thank you.” Then he turned and went back inside his home, as viewers could hear bird calls from the estate gardens.

The funeral will take place entirely within the walls of Windsor Castle. The palace announced: “His Royal Highness’s coffin will be carried in a purpose-built Land Rover – which The Duke was involved in the design of – flanked by military Pall Bearers, in a small Ceremonial Procession from the State Entrance to St George’s Chapel, for the Funeral Service.”

The eight pallbearers and the dean of Windsor and the archbishop of Canterbury. who will officiate, will not be counted in the limit of 30, the BBC reported.

Since the death announcement at noon Friday, the queen has been visited at Windsor by Charles and her other three children, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Around the country on Saturday, signs of mourning were everywhere: royal staff in black, a 41-round gun salute. The Union Jack was at half-staff, and will remain so until a day after the funeral.

Many of these tributes are based on long-standing royal protocol. Others reflect pandemic-related restrictions.

To announce Philip’s death on Friday, a plaque, per royal tradition, was placed in front of Buckingham Palace, reading: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

It was, however, removed later in the day, amid fears that it was attracting crowds in violation of limits on public gatherings.

“With the safety and well-being of the public in mind, and in accordance with government guidelines, members of the public are asked not to gather in crowds,” the palace said in a statement Friday. “Those wishing to express their condolences are asked to do so in the safest way possible, and not to gather at Royal Residences.”

Britons, nonetheless, continued to gather to leave floral tributes in front of palaces and mark the moment in pictures and collective mourning.

At noon in Britain, a nationwide 41-gun salute was held to honor the former naval officer and World War II veteran.

The Church of England, which Elizabeth officially heads, published prayer resources for churches to use during the mourning period.

Others incorporated socially distanced moments of silence into their Saturday plans, such as at sporting events, which the prince avidly supported.

The life and complicated legacy of Prince Philip dominated British media coverage on Saturday. Over many decades, Prince Philip ran the gamut in the British press: at times scolded, mocked and lauded for everything from cringeworthy comments to his dutiful service to the crown.

But some were frustrated by the attention over the late Duke of Edinburgh in a year in which the coronavirus has officially killed nearly 3 million people worldwide and more than 125,000 in Britain.

There was also concern that coverage of Philip’s death on Friday was overshadowing other pressing developments in Britain, such as ongoing unrest in Northern Ireland over Brexit trade rules, as well as glossing over the less flattering parts of his life and the British monarchy’s impact.

Initial ratings by Britain’s Broadcast Audience Research Board found that the BBC and ITV, two British networks that on Friday pulled other coverage to prioritize the royal news, had major drops in viewers this week compared with last, according to the Independent. The BBC set up a web form specifically for Philip coverage-related complaints.

“Although the corporation [BBC] is used to finding itself in the middle of Britain’s culture wars, its handling of Philip’s death points to a deeper question over the ability of a national broadcaster to force the country together to mourn a single individual in an era where audiences are fragmented and less deferential,” reported the Guardian.

British media also conveyed the condolences pouring in from leaders around the world, including Pope Francis and all five living former U.S. presidents.

Princess Sirivannavari gets her Covid jab #SootinClaimon.Com

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Princess Sirivannavari gets her Covid jab

Mar 23. 2021


Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana was administered the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday at Chulalongkorn Hospital.

The vaccination procedure for the Princess follows the guidelines set by the Public Health Ministry, which includes registration, physical examination, weight check, blood pressure check and 30 minutes of monitoring for side effects after the inoculation.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is suitable for people above the age of 18 and is effective in reducing the severity of Covid-19 symptoms. It also makes the virus less infectious. Hence, it is suitable for those who have a high risk of infection from interacting with patients or those who travel frequently and interact with many different people.

Their Majesties make merit on Makha Puja Day #SootinClaimon.Com

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Their Majesties make merit on Makha Puja Day

Feb 27. 2021


His Majesty the King performed a religious ceremony to make merit on Makha Puja Day on Friday evening at Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.

He was accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana, Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya and Chao Khun Phra Sineenat Bilaskalayani.

Their Majesties also provided hand sanitisers and drinking water to the public attending the ceremony on Friday. The Ministry of Public Health deployed screening checkpoints at the entrance to the ceremony venue to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Makha Puja Day commemorates the Fourfold Assembly of 1,250 enlightened monks (arhat) that took place more than 2,500 years ago. All the monks, who had been ordained personally by Lord Buddha, met spontaneously, with no prior scheduling, beneath the first full moon of March (the month of Makha).

His Majesty joins Royal Noble Consort in making merit #SootinClaimon.Com

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His Majesty joins Royal Noble Consort in making merit

Jan 26. 2021


His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn graciously joined Chao Khun Phra (Royal Noble Consort) Sineenat Bilaskalayani in making merit for her birthday at the Amporn Sathan Throne Hall in Dusit Palace on Tuesday morning.

After the ceremony, they travelled to Wasukri Pier in Bangkok’s Dusit district to donate two cows and two buffalos, as well as release birds and fish.

HM the King blesses Thai people with happiness in the New Year #SootinClaimon.Com

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HM the King blesses Thai people with happiness in the New Year

Jan 01. 2021


His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn gave his blessings and good wishes to Thai people for 2021.

In a New Year’s eve address at Amporn Sathan Throne Hall, Dusit Palace,at 8pm on Thursday, the King conveyed his blessings and good wishes for all Thai people to be happy throughout the year.

“Thai people have long standing culture, traditions, rites, language and arts that represent the goodness, beauty and prosperity of our country. They also connect and unite Thai people from every part of the country as one. It is important that all Thais help preserve this cultural heritage and further improve them in the future.

“I wish you all to have a strong commitment to complete your duties, along with intelligence, conscience and logical thinking based on righteousness and truth. Although the country is facing challenges due to a disease, through cooperation and understanding we could all overcome this crisis together and progress sustainably towards the future.

“May the Holy Triple Gem and all the sacred things that you revere, as well as the virtues of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, protect your families and bless you with good health and intelligence that will help you and the country achieve happiness and prosperity together.”

Their Majesties the King and Queen also released a 2021 New Year greeting card for Thai people. On the front side of the card is the symbol of the Chakri dynasty, as well as the symbols of Their Majesties. When opened, on the right side of the card is a picture of the King and Queen, while on the left is the message “2021 New Year Blessing”, with the signatures of Their Majesties.

Their Majesties pay tribute to King Taksin #SootinClaimon.Com

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Their Majesties pay tribute to King Taksin

Dec 29. 2020


Their Majesties the King and Queen on Monday placed flower bouquets at the Equestrian Statue of King Taksin the Great at the Wongwian Yai roundabout in Bangkok’s Thonburi district to mark the anniversary of King Taksin the Great’s enthronement on December 28, 1767.

Their Majesties preside over Quran competition #SootinClaimon.Com

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Their Majesties preside over Quran competition (

Their Majesties preside over Quran competition

Dec 19. 2020


His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Majesty Queen Suthida on Friday presided over the 2020 Quran recitation competition at the Central Mosque in the Muang district of Pattani province.

Their Majesties also gave honorary plaques and money to the provincial Islamic councils, imams and representatives from private Islamic schools in the South who demonstrated excellent achievements in Islamic teachings over the past year.

King and Queen inaugurate new Supreme Court office #SootinClaimon.Com

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King and Queen inaugurate new Supreme Court office (

King and Queen inaugurate new Supreme Court office

Dec 08. 2020Photos by Tanachai PramarnpanichPhotos by Tanachai Pramarnpanich 

By The Nation

Their Majesties King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida presided over the ceremony to open a new Supreme Court Office in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district on Monday.

Their Majesties arrived at the court in the evening and also granted an audience to high-ranking officials led by Metinee Chalodhorn, President of the Supreme Court.

After the ceremony, the King and the Queen also greeted the public who were waiting to meet the royals outside the court.

Their Majesties attend ceremony to honour King Rama IX on his birthday #SootinClaimon.Com

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Their Majesties attend ceremony to honour King Rama IX on his birthday (

Their Majesties attend ceremony to honour King Rama IX on his birthday

Dec 06. 2020

By The Nation

Their Majesties the King and Queen, accompanied by Royal Family members, visited Sanam Luang late in the evening on Saturday to join an auspicious candle-lighting ceremony to commemorate the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, which is also celebrated as Father’s Day in Thailand.