Queen joins Royal family for a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen has attended a memorial service for her late husband Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s died in April last year, just short of his 100th birthday, and strict limitations were imposed on his funeral during the pandemic.
Tuesday's event gave the Queen a chance to remember her husband of 73 years - and the country’s longest serving consort - alongside hundreds of guests.
The 95-year-old monarch travelled to the memorial by car from Windsor Castle with her son Prince Andrew. The move has been seen as a show of support for the 62-year-old, who recently settled a civil sex assault case having always denied any wrongdoing.
Queen Elizabeth II has rarely been seen in public over the past four months.
Tuesday's event marks the first public appearance for the Duke of York since he settled the high-profile case with his accuser Virginia Giuffre.
The Queen spent an unscheduled night in hospital in October last year and mobility issues forced her to miss Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey just two weeks ago.
To minimise the time she spent walking on Tuesday, the Queen entered the memorial by the Abbey's front entrance and was seen holding on to Prince Andrew's arm, as she made her way into the building with the help of a walking stick.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sat behind the Queen at the service, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Harry and Meghan have not attended the memorial as a dispute with the Home Office over security arrangements continues.
Outside of the Royal Family, guests include Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, nearly 30 foreign royals and scores of representatives from Philip’s charities.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: "Clearly it is welcome to see Her Majesty out today, continuing her incredible decades of service to the country."
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were seated next to the Queen.
After the first hymn, Charles could be seen leaning over to speak to his mother.
The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal were all dressed in dark green in what is believed to be a tribute to Philip, whose livery colour was Edinburgh Green.
The Queen was also escorted out of the abbey by the Duke of York.
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A number of others throughout the congregation also wore the shade, including Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holder Doyin Sonibare, who delivered a special tribute about the effect Philip’s youth scheme had on her life.
Tuesday's service featured the hymn "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer," fulfilling one of Philip's wishes for his funeral that wasn't carried out because of restrictions that banned singing.
ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship attended the service. He described the Queen's attendance as a "huge relief" for the monarch and the entire royal family following her health issues.
"This was a tribute to her husband of 73 years and she'll be immensely relieved that she was able to attend," he said.
Andrew's prominent role at the service was a "strong statement" from the Queen, he said.
Palace sources told ITV News that "family" was the driving force behind the decision to place Andrew centre-stage at the memorial.
"He's without a partner, his mother is widowed - it made a lot of sense," sources told Ship.
It was the Queen’s way of showing that her second son still has a place at family occasions, according to royal commentator Peter Hunt.
"It didn’t happen by chance," he said.
"He could have sat in the congregation with others, with his relatives, but they actively decided that he would have this role of supporting her.
"So she has chosen, in essence, to remind people that he hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing, he’s not guilty of anything, he’s innocent.
"And she’s very clearly stating that he has a role at family occasions."