Prince Philip service to pay tribute to duke's dedication to 'family, nation and Commonwealth'

A memorial service to the Duke of Edinburgh will pay tribute to his steadfast support to his charities. Credit: PA

Members of the royal family will join foreign royals and representatives from Prince Philip's patronages and charities at a memorial service at Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the duke's dedication to “family, nation and Commonwealth”, Buckingham Palace has said.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the youth scheme set up by Philip in 1956, will feature prominently at the service on Tuesday, with a special tribute delivered by a Gold Award holder.

The Queen is still planning to make the journey from Windsor to central London to attend the high profile and personally significant occasion in honour of her late husband, who died in April last year while the UK was in lockdown.

The 95-year-old head of state missed the Commonwealth Day service last week due to comfort issues, has spoken about not being able to move, and recently recovered from Covid-19.

The Queen sat alone at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Confirmation on whether the monarch will be able to do so is likely to come on the morning of the event.

The Queen sat on her own during the service at St George's Chapel in Windsor in accordance with Covid rules at the time.

Some 1,800 guests will gather in the abbey in remembrance of Philip, giving those who were unable to attend his funeral, which was limited to just 30 people during Covid restrictions, the chance to pay their respects.

The Queen and Philip’s second son the Duke of York will be among the congregation, despite Andrew paying millions out of court earlier this month to settle a civil sexual assault case.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not returning from the US for the event.

In recognition of Philip’s long-held relationship with the armed forces, the Band of the Royal Marines will provide music before and after the service.

Other guests will include representatives from UK Government, the armed forces and the devolved administrations, realm High Commissioners, representatives of overseas territories, members of the Queen and the duke’s household, representatives from the duke’s regimental affiliations in the UK and the Commonwealth, as well as the clergy and other faiths.

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A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The service will give thanks for The Duke of Edinburgh’s dedication to family, nation and Commonwealth and recognise the importance of his legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promoting environmental stewardship and conservation, and supporting the armed forces.

“The service will in particular pay tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh’s contribution to public life and steadfast support for the over 700 charitable organisations with which His Royal Highness was associated throughout his life.”

The Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choirs will provide music during the service.