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Famously always walking two steps behind the Queen, today her Duke, in his final official duty, was the leader of his final procession. His flag draped coffin sat atop the custom Land Rover, designed by Prince Philip himself, lead the way from the residence to the chapel of Windsor Castle while the Queen followed in her own car. In between their matriarch and patriarch, senior members of the Royal Family dutifully marched in organized rows, all in mourners' black.
Every moment of today's events was carefully calculated and planned by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, himself. He wished to be remembered not with a state funeral but rather one that paid tribute to his deep dedication to military service, service to the country and Commonwealth he loved so dearly, and perhaps most importantly, his dedication to family.
We are most accustomed to seeing formal affairs following the strictest of protocols from the Royal Family, but often too there are subtle, personal touches woven into the pomp and circumstance. Like the flowers stitched into Kate Middleton's wedding dress that represented England, Ireland, and Scotland to the something blue woven into Meghan Markle's wedding dress paying homage to her first date with Prince Harry. Today's funeral was no different. Ahead of the official procession, we saw the arrival of Prince Philip's carriage, a hobby he took up in his later years, and the carriage being led by two of his beloved Fell ponies. If you take a closer look, you will also see on the empty seat next to the driver Prince Philip's hat and driver gloves.
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Queen Elizabeth II also added a personal touch to the procession honoring the love of her life. Prince Philip's coffin was draped with His Royal Highness's Personal Standard. Sitting on top of this flag was a wreath of white roses and lilies selected by the Queen. This appears to be the act more reflective of a loving wife than one representing her formal role of queen. Reminding all that theirs truly was an epic love story. They were married for 73 years. Accompanying the floral arrangement sat Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Navy cap and the sword given to him by his late father-in-law, King George VI.
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We offer our collective condolences for the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom.