THE Duke of Edinburgh’s lifelong association with the Royal Navy is to be marked in every part of his funeral today.
Philip’s love of the sea permeates the order of service which, in keeping with a life of selfless duty, is without pomp, ceremony or fuss.
After the Queen’s accession to the throne, the Duke quit the Senior Service, where he had reached the rank of first lieutenant at just 21, becoming one of the youngest to do so.
Philip then went on to become the longest serving royal consort in history.
Perhaps the most poignant part of today’s service is the music, chosen by the Duke himself.
It includes the naval hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save and has the line, “O hear us when we cry to Thee for those in peril on the sea.”
The seafarer’s hymn was also played as US President John F Kennedy’s coffin was carried up the steps of the Capitol Rotunda in 1963, in honour of his heroic service with the US Navy in the Pacific during the
Second World War. It was also sung at the funeral of the Duke’s beloved uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by the IRA while on his boat in Sligo, Republic of Ireland, in 1979.
The service will be led by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Rev David Conner, who will receive The Queen at the Galilee Porch of St George’s Chapel.
The Duke’s coffin will be removed from the specially adapted Land Rover and carried to the West Steps.
It will rest at 3pm for a national silence lasting one minute before being carried to the catafalque in the Quire.
The Blessing will be pronounced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
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