Pride and sorrow
WHEN the minute’s silence to commence the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral begins at 3pm tomorrow, it will be a time for the nation to reflect on a long life well-lived.
In his opening remarks at the ceremony, the Dean of Windsor will highlight some of the characteristics that defined Prince Philip.
Some of these are indelibly intertwined with our long-standing image of the man and his role in public life: loyalty to the Queen, service to the nation and the Commonwealth.
Other qualities — his courage, fortitude and faith — have only grown in our appreciation over the past week as tales of his wartime service were recounted.
Still others were often either misunderstood during the Duke’s lifetime or hidden behind a gruff exterior: namely his kindness, humour and humanity.
Yet it is these traits that have shone through time and time again these past eight days in the many memories of his private life by those who knew him best.
Doubtless these are also the aspects the Queen will now be missing the most.
And while tomorrow Britain mourns Philip, its tears will be just as much for Her Majesty, deprived of her “strength and stay” after almost 74 years of marriage.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury says, she will be “anguished” on the inside, however stoic a front she puts on.
Her family must…