Prince Philip’s funeral will celebrate his love of the ocean


PRINCE PHILIP’S long association with the ocean and Royal Navy will be celebrated during his funeral at Windsor Castle.

Songs and Bible readings related to the sea will be performed whilst Action Stations will be sounded, as traditionally happens on a warship before it engages the enemy. Due to coronavirus restrictions only 30 mourners will be able to attend the service and they will be required to wear masks throughout.

The Duke of Edinburgh played a major role in planning his own funeral before his passing.

Music played will include ‘Eternal Father, Strong To Save’, a hymn which warns of the dangers of the sea.

It was written by William Whiting who was inspired by references in Psalm 107 of the Bible.

The hymn includes the line “who walkedst on the foaming deep, And calm amid its rage didst sleep: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea”.


Prince Philip had a long association with the Royal Navy (Image: GETTY)


Prince Philip as a young naval officer (Image: GETTY)

It was played in 1979 at Lord Mountbatten’s funeral following his murder by the IRA.

During the service the Dean of Windsor will read First Lesson (Ecclesiasticus 43. 11-26) which refers to the “wonderful creatures” of the ocean.

It states: “Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them; in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea-monsters.”

During the service Royal Marine buglers will perform Action Stations, a tribute that sometimes takes place at naval funerals.


Prince Philip in his Admiral of the Fleet uniform (Image: GETTY)

They will also play the Last Post signifying “a soldier has gone to his final rest”.

In 1939 Prince Philip enrolled at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth aged 17.

It was here he first met Princess Elizabeth, his future wife, during a visit.

During World War 2 Philip served with distinction as an officer of the Royal Navy.


Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at Windsor Castle (Image: GETTY)


A mourner places a tribute to Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

He was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery during the 1941 Battle of Cape Matapan against the Italian navy.

Serving on board HMS Valiant as it battled an Italian cruiser he used the ship’s searchlights to spot a second, previously undetected, enemy vessel.

Prince Philip served with HMS Wallace as it supported Canadian troops during the 1943 invasion of Sicily.

In 1945 he helped rescue two downed airmen whilst First Lieutenant of destroyer HMS Whelp.

Philip married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and stepped down from active service with the Royal Navy when she became Queen in 1952.

The Duke once described the ocean as “an extraordinary master or mistress”.

He added: “It has such extraordinary moods that sometimes you feel this is the only sort of life and 10 minutes later you’re praying for death.”


Floral tributes to Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

Sailors from a number of Royal Navy ships and units will take part in the funeral service.

The public are being urged to stay away from the funeral due to coronavirus restrictions.

However it will be televised with a national minutes silence held at 3pm.


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