LONDON (AP) – Queen Elizabeth II has resumed royal duties, four days after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, as preparations intensified on Wednesday for his ceremonial funeral over the weekend.
The 94-year-old British monarch attended a retirement ceremony for a senior royal official on Tuesday, according to the court circular, the official record of royal engagements.
The royal family observes two weeks of mourning for Philip, who died on Friday at the age of 99. The palace said members of the royal family “will undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances” during the period of mourning.
Philip’s granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, paid tribute to her “dearest grandfather” and promised to look after “Granny”.
The Queen attended a ceremony at Windsor Castle for Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel, who retired as the highest official in the royal household. He oversaw the arrangements for the funeral of Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, until handed over to his successor days before the Duke’s death.
The Queen and Philip’s daughter, Princess Anne, made a public appearance on Wednesday, visiting young sailors from the Royal Yacht Squadron sailing club on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. Prince Philip was a veteran of the Royal Navy and an avid sailor.
His funeral will take place at Windsor Castle on Saturday, with attendance limited to 30 due to coronavirus restrictions.
Although this is a reduced service due to the pandemic, hundreds of service members from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force will take part in the funeral procession, and the Philip’s coffin will be brought to St. George’s Chapel. at the castle on a specially adapted Land Rover, which he designed himself.
Military personnel rehearsed for the event on Wednesday at the Army Training Center in Pirbright, near London. One of four Royal Marines bugles who will play “The Last Post” on the service said it was “an honor and a privilege” to play the role.
“It’s extremely important. We feel nervous, ”said Sgt. Bugler Jamie Ritchie. “We feel the pressure, but we’re channeling that and we’re using that and we’re going to deliver an exceptional performance.”
Since Philip’s death, his four children have all paid tribute to him, as have the grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry.
Another granddaughter, Eugenie, shared on Instagram memories of “learning to cook, paint, read” with her “dear grandfather”.
“I remember laughing at your jokes and asking questions about your spectacular life and service in the Navy,” wrote Eugenie, who is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York. “I remember you cremated the sausages and stepped in to save the day. I remember your hands and your laughter and your favorite beer.
“I will remember you in your children, your grandchildren and great grandchildren,” she wrote. “Thank you for your dedication and love for all of us and in particular for Granny, which we will take care of for you.”