Queen Elizabeth made her first public appearance on Tuesday to pay her respects to her husband Prince Philip along with other members of Britain’s royal family.
The 95-year-old queen was escorted via a side to Westminster Abbey by her disgraced son, Prince Andrew, before walking with a cane to her seat alone.
She had been closely involved in planning Tuesday’s service, despite concerns about her health after she scaled back her duties while recovering from COVID-19.
During the service, the queen grabbed a pair of glasses from her handbag and began to sing, the Washington Post reported.
No masks were worn inside and the jubilant atmosphere stood in stark contrast to Philip’s April funeral, where only 30 mourners were able to attend under COVID-19 restrictions.
Roughly 1,800 family members and guests attended the service, which featured the hymn “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer,” making good on one of Philip’s requests for his funeral.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, along with Prince William and his wife, Catherine, were in attendance, as well as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, other European royals and more than 500 reps from Prince Philip’s patronages and charities, the Washington Post reported.
As expected, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not attend the memorial service. The pair had hoped to introduce their 9-month-old daughter, Lilibet, to the royal family, but the trip was scuttled amid Harry’s battle with the UK government over security.
The service marked the first public appearance for Prince Andrew since he settled a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, 38, who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 17 while she traveled with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew has denied the allegations.
David Hoyle, the dean of Westminster, praised Philip for his public service, including helping young people through his Duke of Edinburgh Awards program,
“A man of rare ability and distinction, rightly honored and celebrated, he ever directed our attention away from himself,” Hoyle said Tuesday, adding that he had a “long life lived fully.”
Elizabeth, who married Philip at Westminster Abbey in 1947, had described her partner of more than seven decades as her “strength and stay” before his death at the age of 99.
With Post wires