On Saturday April 17th, HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest at Windsor castle’s St George’s Chapel. Like many, I tuned in to watch a family, overcome with grief at the loss of a loved one, pay their final respects to the patriarch of their family. To say I watched with dry eyes would have been a lie. I am not a royalist, as some might say, but I have an insurmountable amount of respect for Queen Elizabeth II and watching her sit by herself, when her loving husband would usually have been sat next to her, at the funeral of said husband, was at times just too heartbreaking to bare.
It is a known fact the Prince Philip, had pre-arranged and organised almost every aspect of his final send off. Of course, with Covid restrictions, it was a much smaller and private affair than would be expected for the funeral of the Queen of England's Royal consort and husband of 73 years. It might surprise some, that in fact Prince Philip preferred it not be a grand affair, which I think speaks volumes of the man he was.
All too often we feel that we know people in the spotlight, such as the Royals or actors and singers, and we have a right to their private lives, but the truth is we don’t. Just as they know nothing of ours. What is very clear however, was that despite his flaws or any rumoured troubles he may have had in his marriage, this was a man who was very much devoted to his country, his wife and his family. That deserves respect.
Certain members of the Royal family chose to wear pieces of jewellery that held deep sentimental value. Kate Middleton paid tribute to her Grandmother-in-law late Grandfather-in-law by wearing a pearl necklace belonging to the Queen that she had only recently worn to their 70th wedding anniversary celebrations. It was a four strand pearl necklace, also previously worn by the late Princess Diana, that was gifted to the Queen by the Japanese government. She paired this stunning necklace from the Queens personal collection with a pair of diamond and pearl earrings gifted to the Queen in celebration of her marriage to Philip.
Camilla Duchess of Cornwall also wore pearl earrings but it was the broach she wore that drew most of my attention. It was the silver Bugle brooch that paid tribute to the late Prince Philip’s former role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles, a role he only recently passed on to Camilla.
And of course, there was the jewellery worn by the Queen herself.
She wore her diamond Richmond brooch, which came from her grandmother Queen Mary’s collection. Queen Elizabeth has, in the past, worn the same brooch to formal engagements with her husband. The stunning piece no doubt reminds her of him.
Ultimately it is the sentimental value of jewellery which adds to its meaning. Of course without a doubt, the materials used to make any piece of jewellery are primarily what adds value to it, but a trinket bought by a late grandmother at a car boot sale will hold just as much, if not more, value to its owner as a diamond pendant. This is the beauty of jewellery.
RIP Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021