When I first started writing here in January 2017 I was a little mad at myself for not having started sooner. The year felt so random at first, coming on the heels of the relatively quiet 2016 and well after the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. In retrospect, that year was the beginning of a new royal era – William and Kate moving back to London, William beginning as a full-time royal, the introduction and then engagement of Meghan, and, of course, The Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement.
His final engagement that summer was one of the more moving I’ve covered here and the images captured during it (such as the one above) were incredible. Philip retiring from public life was in and of itself historical – as has been captured in countless headlines and articles covering his life and death over the last few weeks, he was the longest-serving consort in British history. For the three years after his retirement he remained primarily at Wood Farm, a smaller residence on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, while the Queen split her time between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Last March, so as to ensure safety during quarantine, Philip joined his wife at Windsor.
His presence has thus been behind-the-scenes, of late. Very much a part of the family, but not necessarily the institution. Decisions and machinations that will drive how the Royal Family functions going forward have fallen to the Queen and The Prince of Wales – we saw this with how the two handled The Duke of York and The Duke of Sussex, the latter situation also roping in The Duke of Cambridge. Philip’s death, therefore, feels even more so like a family’s private loss. He took his leave of us, the public, a few years ago now.
With that, let’s turn to the funeral and what’s come out of it.
Continue reading “A Royal Family After Philip”