Tue, 28 June 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Despite health issues, Queen Elizabeth attends Prince Philip service

Update : 30 Mar 2022, 12:41

Queen Elizabeth II, the ailing  queen, appeared Tuesday at a service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip who passed away last year at 99.

Next month will mark the 96th birthday of the monarch. She has not been to a major event since her stay in hospital last October.

Buckingham Palace only confirmed her attendance at Prince Philip’s memorial service around two hours before it was due to start at Westminster Abbey in central London.

The monarch entered the church on the arm of her second son, Prince Andrew, then separated from him to walk to her seat alone, easing concerns about her health that had raised questions about whether she would attend.

Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Andrew arrive to attend a Service of Thanksgiving for Prince Philip

It was Andrew’s first public appearance since settling a US civil claim for sexual assault, and after public outrage at his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew sat in front with his brother Prince Edward. The queen, his older brother Prince Charles, and sister Princess Anne sat in the opposite row.

After undergoing treatment for heart disease, the Duke of Edinburgh died last April 9, just weeks before his 100th birthday. Only 30 people attended last year’s funeral, conducted under the strict COVID-19 lockdown rules then in place that forced the queen to sit alone wearing a black mask as she mourned the loss of her husband, who she called her rock.  Tuesday’s event in front of the 1,800-person church was an opportunity to include elements of the original design, including sermons, prayers, and music of his choice.

Britain’s royal family attended, together with about 30 foreign royals, including Prince Albert of Monaco, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, and King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Philip’s wider family and friends were also there, along with 500 representatives charities and other groups he supported.

Much of the focus was on the straight-talking former naval officer’s charity work, particularly his Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme for young people around the world.

There was a sight of royalty and foreign dignitaries along with a traditional Church of England service.  A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “welcome to see Her Majesty out today, continuing her incredible decades of service to the country.”

It was queen's first major public event in months, since unspecified mobility issues hampered her ability to get around. Elizabeth, who recently recovered from COVID-19, didn’t go to a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month, but she continued with other scheduled engagements, including in-person audiences.

 






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