Analysis: the monarchy will be different now that Philip is gone

Windsor, England (CNN) – Grief and loss have a way of bringing families together and it seemed like it did yesterday.

For the first time in 73 years, the Queen is without her soul mate, her most loyal advisor who was there from the start.
The Queen often turned to her husband for professional advice and almost always followed his advice. Behind the scenes, he has taken on leadership in many aspects of family life. Now the clan is forging a new path after putting their beloved Patriarch to rest.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II takes her place at the funeral for her husband, Prince Philip, on Saturday.

What we are witnessing is a monarchy that adapts and evolves in real time. It is a delicate period for the United Kingdom, which is frankly not so united at the moment. Calls for independence have not left Scotland, episodes of violent unrest have erupted in parts of Northern Ireland in recent weeks and England is facing some sort of identity crisis after Brexit.

Ceremonial departures can help stabilize the ship.

The Queen will undoubtedly continue, as she always has, due to her undying commitment to duty and service. She will always define the monarchy as a symbol of unity and continuity. But we also see senior members of the royal family congregating around her in Philip’s absence.

This was certainly the case last week. Despite some friction in various family relationships, her children and later grandchildren came forward to share how she was coping and share fond memories of the Duke and his work.
Prince Charles walks behind his father's coffin during the procession.
Due to the Queen’s exceptional reign, Charles, 72, is the world’s oldest presumed heir, which he became at the age of three when Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne. But never has his position as successor been more essential. He now takes on the role of the Queen’s closest confidant, truly a waiting king.

He will help deal with situations as he did, alongside his older son William, when Harry and his wife Meghan revealed they wanted to step down from royal duties.

The deep rift between the brothers has been the subject of much speculation since the Sussexes spoke to Oprah Winfrey last month. The couple are deeply hurt. For his part, Harry feels he has had no choice but to part ways with the UK, its tabloid press and its ‘unsupported’ monarchy to protect his wife. William, meanwhile, feels abandoned by his brother who was supposed to be by his side in the future monarchy.
Ahead of the funeral, there was much emphasis that the brothers would follow Philip’s coffin on foot but be separated by their cousin, Peter Phillips. Ultimately, yes Phillips was between them, but they naturally fell in step with each other with their cousin one step behind them. And then there was the moment of seeing Harry join William and his wife Catherine, chatting as they made their way back to Windsor Castle after the service.
From left to right, Philip's grandsons, Peter Phillips, Prince William and Prince Harry take part in the funeral procession.

Seeing the brothers come together despite the current differences was extremely important. Harry doesn’t need to return to his royal role, but they need to mend their relationship and William needs someone to confide in. That person must be Harry – the only person who really understands William. Catherine may be William’s wife, but Harry has gone through difficult times with his brother. It includes royalty and the duties that go with it.

CNN royal historian Kate Williams, who joined us in Windsor, recalled that Harry’s life has been one of service and would likely have been touched by the many military references dotted throughout the funeral service .

Service would have affected the Duke of Sussex because of his two missions in Afghanistan, and “everything he did for veterans with the Invictus Games. He always wanted to be in service,” Williams said. She added that Harry had hoped to create something of a flexi-royal function – a system used by the European royals – and perhaps that could be explored in the future. Either way, Williams said, “Harry’s support is so important to the monarchy and it is so needed.”

The challenge is how the clan is preparing for the next generation of monarchy. The Queen remains incredibly popular and the system is safe as long as she is on the throne. They must find a way for Charles’ reign to be held in high regard as well, and that will require the help of his two sons.


Members of the Royal Family follow Prince Philip's coffin into St. George's Chapel.

A mourning queen

The royal family strictly adhered to UK Covid-19 regulations during the funeral. As such, the Queen sat alone during the service. All clients who are not members of the same household were required to sit approximately 2 meters apart. The Queen and the late Prince Philip had been in a bubble with some family members for a year and the monarch was therefore not eligible to join other family members.

How Meghan honored Philip from afar

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, had wanted to attend the Saturday service but was advised her doctor not to travel to England. However, she wanted to pay tribute to him and sent a wreath made up of locally sourced flowers and a handwritten note from the couple. A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said on Saturday she was watching from her home.

The British Prime Minister was unable to attend the funeral. He did it instead.

Boris Johnson attended the funeral from his country residence in Checkers, a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed on Saturday. He was unable to attend the service – as would be expected under normal circumstances – due to the pandemic. The number of mourners present was limited to just 30 to stay in compliance with current government restrictions on coronaviruses. Instead of his presence, he kept a minute of silence as the service began at the gate of his property in memory of the Duke and posted a photo of the tribute of the moment on Twitter.


During the procession, Philip's coffin was carried by a modified Land Rover that he helped design.

Prince Philip was laid to rest during an intimate service at St George’s Chapel, which is within the grounds of Windsor Castle. By royal standards, service was a relatively low-key affair. The ceremony was limited to 30 people, in line with England’s current coronavirus restrictions.

It was preceded by a ceremonial procession in which members of his family and several of his closest associates walked behind the coffin as the service was littered with references to the Duke’s close relationship with the military.

The procession advances towards the Saint-Georges chapel.
The queen rises during the funeral.  She and Prince Philip had been married for 73 years.
Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge bow their heads in prayer during the ceremony.
The end of the funeral was marked by the bugles of the Royal Marines sounding 'action stations',' an announcement that would traditionally be made on a naval warship to mean that all hands should go to battle stations .
See more photos of the poignant funeral here.

“We remember before you today Philip the Duke of Edinburgh who gave you thanks – for his steadfast faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity, for his life of service. of the Nation and the Commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership. “

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury personalized a prayer for the Duke of Edinburgh, paying homage to his enduring duty and service to the monarchy and beyond.

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