Queen Elizabeth seen with cane as she attends Prince Philip memorial service

The monarch was accompanied by her son Prince Andrew for the event at Westminster Abbey

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Queen Elizabeth took part in a poignant memorial service honouring her late husband Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday.

The Palace said the Queen has been actively involved in the plans for the service for The Duke of Edinburgh, with many elements reflecting her wishes.

The elderly monarch used a cane as she was accompanied into the Abbey by her son Prince Andrew. The pair walked slowly to her sitting place beside her eldest son, Prince Charles.

Among those attending were Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of York arrive at Westminster Abbey in London. PA.

Andrew, who stepped down from public life over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, had a front row seat, sitting next to his brother the Earl of Wessex and across the aisle from his other siblings.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte were also present in honour of their great-grandfather – the first time they have attended a major public church service.

Westminster Abbey was where the Philip and Elizabeth were married in 1947 and was originally expected to be the venue for his funeral, which was instead held at Windsor Castle due to Covid-19.

International Royalty attends the Duke of Edinburgh Service of Thanksgiving - in pictures

The farewell to Philip in St George’s Chapel last April was limited to just 30 people in the midst of the pandemic and mass singing was banned, with the Queen sitting alone and wearing a mask.

Eleven months on, the royal family including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Cambridges gathered as part of a 1,800-strong congregation for a thanksgiving service in the duke’s honour, a high profile and personally significant occasion for the Queen's beloved late husband.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Andrew were taken to the service by limousine. AP.

The Queen's attendance was only confirmed by Buckingham Palace earlier on Tuesday due to concerns over her mobility and overall health.

Tuesday’s service is the Queen’s first major official engagement outside one of her homes for nearly six months, since she travelled to Cardiff to deliver a speech at the Welsh Senedd on October 14.

The 95-year-old head of state pulled out of the Commonwealth Day service earlier this month due to comfort issues and has spoken about not being able to move.

She recently recovered from Covid-19 and appeared fit and well at Windsor last week.

About 30 foreign royals attended, including Prince Albert of Monaco, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, all of whom would have been on the pre-pandemic guest list.

The duke’s wider family and friends were there, along with 500 representatives from his patronages and charities.

Also invited were Sir David Attenborough, Dame Floella Benjamin, Baroness Grey-Thompson and members of the military who were involved in the funeral, including Pipe Major Colour Sergeant Peter Grant and the Grenadier Guards Bearer Party.

The Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Conner, delivered a seven-minute address during the service which was televised on the BBC

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

Pieces included the upbeat The Seafarers, as well as the moving Pacific theme by Blake Neely and Hans Zimmer, composed for the HBO mini-series about a US marine corps fighting in the Pacific during the Second World War.

Philip served as First Lieutenant on the destroyer HMS Whelp in the Pacific, where he helped to rescue two airmen in 1945 whose bomber crashed into the ocean during the Allies’ Operation Meridian II against the Japanese.

Flowers in the church were in shades of patriotic red, white and blue, with larger arrangements featuring blue eryngium — known as sea holly — a nod to the duke’s career in the Royal Navy, and his lifelong affection for the sea.

Also there was the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Prince Andrew had been expected to arrive alongside his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank.

Prince Harry and his wife, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are not returning from the US for the service.

Watch: UK royal family attend Prince Philip memorial service

Updated: March 29, 2022, 3:44 PM
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