Queen Elizabeth II shrugged off recent health issues to attend a memorial service for her husband, Prince Philip, at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday, entering the cavernous church through a side door to shorten the distance to her seat. The monarch entered the abbey on the arm of her second son, Prince Andrew, then separated from him to walk to her seat alone, easing concerns about unspecified "mobility issues" that have limited her public appearances in recent months, per the AP. Her choice of escorts will be seen as a vote of support for Andrew after he settled a lawsuit linked to his relationship with the late, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Elizabeth, who recently recovered from COVID-19, didn't go to a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey earlier this month, though she continued with other scheduled engagements. The 95-year-old monarch was involved in planning the service, which included hymns and tributes from the charities Philip supported. Such touches weren't permitted during his funeral last year due to pandemic measures. About 1,800 family members and other guests attended the memorial, though not Prince Harry. Prince Charles sat beside his mother and Prince William just behind her. Elizabeth, her daughter, Princess Anne, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were all dressed in dark green—echoing Philip's livery color of Edinburgh Green.
The Rev. David Conner remembered Philip's service to the queen and dedication to environmental protection and his commitment to equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed through his Duke of Edinburgh Award. More than 6.7 million teenagers and young adults have taken part in the program since 1956. "He drew others to himself in admiration and respect and, in the case of those who lived and worked most closely to him, genuine love," Conner said. Doyin Sonibare, 28, who won top honors from the Duke of Edinburgh Award, delivered the primary tribute to Philip, thanking him for creating a program that gave her the tools she needed to get her first job, go on to university, and now study for a PhD in sickle cell research. (Read more Queen Elizabeth II stories.)