Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reads The Patriarchs - An Elegy, written for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral
Prince Philip was one of the last of his own generation. A generation that fought in and lived through war, where duty often meant putting your life on the line. He was the last surviving Royal to see active service in the Second World War. It is those themes of service and sacrifice which were seen in the funeral service for the Duke of Edinburgh - and those themes are also explored in a poem written especially for Saturday's commemorations by the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.
Simon read the poem - The Patriarchs - An Elegy - as part of ITV News' coverage of Prince Philip's funeral. You can watch it above - and the poem is reproduced in full below.
The Patriarchs - An Elegy by Simon Armitage The weather in the window this morning is snow, unseasonal singular flakes, a slow winter's final shiver. On such an occasion to presume to eulogise one man is to pipe up for a whole generation - that crew whose survival was always the stuff of minor miracle, who came ashore in orange-crate coracles, fought ingenious wars, finagled triumphs at sea with flaming decoy boats, and side-stepped torpedoes. Husbands to duty, they unrolled their plans across billiard tables and vehicle bonnets, regrouped at breakfast. What their secrets were was everyone's guess and nobody's business. Great-grandfathers from birth, in time they became both inner core and outer case in a family heirloom of nesting dolls. Like evidence of early man their boot-prints stand in the hardened earth of rose-beds and borders. They were sons of a zodiac out of sync with the solar year, but turned their minds to the day's big science and heavy questions. To study their hands at rest was to picture maps showing hachured valleys and indigo streams, schemes of old campaigns and reconnaissance missions. Last of the great avuncular magicians they kept their best tricks for the grand finale: Disproving Immortality and Disappearing Entirely. The major oaks in the wood start tuning up and skies to come will deliver their tributes. But for now, a cold April's closing moments parachute slowly home, so by mid-afternoon snow is recast as seed heads and thistledown.