Three of Prince Philip’s German relatives were among the 30 handpicked guests at today’s funeral at Windsor Castle.
The Duke of Edinburgh wanted both sides of his family represented when he was laid to rest – a wish that has been granted even with limited numbers.
They are Bernhard, the hereditary prince of Baden, 50, who is the grandson of Philip’s sister Theodora. Donatus, 54, is prince and head of the house of Hesse, into which the late duke’s sister Cecile married.
And Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 51, is the grandson of Philip’s elder sister Princess Margarita.
Donatus and Philipp were seen arriving at Windsor together in a car, both wearing black face masks and suits, as were all the other royals.
The Queen, who wiped away a tear during the service, is believed to have spoken to her late husband’s German relatives on her way out of St George’s Chapel.
Philipp, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg & Donatus (left), Prince and Landgrave of Hesse, arrive at the funeral today
Philipp (pictured right) stands in St George’s Chapel as the coffin of Prince Philip, his great-uncle, is carried in
Donatus, 54, is prince and head of the house of Hesse, into which the late duke’s sister Cecile married. He sat on the right-hand side of the chapel near the entrance
Troubles ahead: Philip, second from left, as a boy with his parents and four sisters, who adored him. They all married German aristocrats
The trio have all been undergoing their mandatory Covid quarantine at a house near Ascot after flying to the UK last week.
Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, and his four sisters all married German aristocrats.
His German relations were banned from attending his wedding to Elizabeth in 1947 over perceived links to the Nazis in the wake of the Second World War.
But after the Duke made clear he wanted German ‘blood’ relatives, they today arrived for the pared-back ceremony at Windsor under the gaze of the watching world.
Earlier this week Prince Philipp said: ‘We are all extremely touched and privileged to be included on behalf of the wider family.’
Today his sister, and the Duke’s great niece, Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg said Philip was an ‘idol’ for their family’s younger generation.
Alone in grief, the Queen sat on the opposite side of the church as she says goodbye to her husband at his funeral in extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic
St George’s Chapel, the scene of Harry and Meghan’s wedding and other happier occasions, contained only 30 guests for the Duke’s funeral
Senior members of the Royal Family walk in the funeral procession towards St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle today
Airmen of the Royal Air Force marching ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip. More than 700 members of the Armed Forces are involved in the event
Prince Donatus, head of the House of Hesse and pictured with the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2019, is also related to the monarch
Speaking from Munich, she told the BBC: ‘To all of us, he was an idol, he was somebody to look up to, we had enormous respect for him and it was always very exciting when he came to visit, and he came often.
‘And this has become clear to me in the week since he’s died – the way he lived his life, his motto, which was an unwritten motto for us, this discipline, this selflessness, this lack of ego, but also his sense of humour always underlying all of that.
‘His hard work and the philosophy that the Duke of Edinburgh Awards have given so many young people is something that is constantly underlying our lives, and it’s certainly something that I’ve always aspired to live up to.’
Speaking about her brother’s attendance at the funeral, she added: ‘It’s a huge honour, obviously, and having spoken to my brother yesterday, he’s just saying it’s a very special time for the cousins to be together and to be representing what is a huge part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s family.
‘You just have to think that there were 16 direct cousins of the Prince of Wales… that’s a huge number of people, and there’s three descendants that are able to be there to represent us is a huge honour and is deeply felt.’
Prince Bernhard, pictured with his wife at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Monaco in 2011, is the grandson of the late Duke’s sister Theodora
Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, pictured with Prince Charles, said: ‘It really is an incredible honour and we are all extremely touched and privileged to be included on behalf of the wider family’