Royal family in mourning after death of Prince Philip, and what to expect from Royal Analysis

It has been a very busy three days. At noon on Friday, the British Royal Family announced the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Here is what we know so far:

The funeral will take place next Saturday, April 17

The funeral will take place at 3pm London time next Saturday. It will be a Ceremonial Royal Funeral, similar to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and it will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Only 30 people have been invited, per COVID-19 protocols. You can find additional details on the funeral arrangements here.

Prince Charles gave a lovely tribute to his father

We haven’t seen some family members yet

We haven’t seen any of the following senior members of the BRF in public since the death was announced on Friday:

Queen Elizabeth – Her Majesty is in a private mourning period for eight days following the death, so we will not see her in public until the funeral on April 17.

Will and Kate – I feel that they’re staying away from the spotlight because they don’t want any of their actions to take away from mourning Prince Philip.

Camilla – I feel like Camilla doesn’t want to overshadow or make anything about her. She is also probably busy helping Charles with his grief and also with decisions for the events of the next week.

Princess Anne – Anne is the only child of Prince Philip’s we haven’t seen in public yet. It could be for the same reason as the Cambridges, or it could be because she is mourning privately. Whatever is best for her. I hope she’s doing okay.

Update: Just as I was about to press “publish” on this post, a statement came in from Princess Anne on the death of her father. We still have not seen her in public since Prince Philips’s death. Here is the statement:

Harry will fly from London for the funeral, while Meghan will stay in the US

Meghan has decided not to travel to the UK for the funeral. Her people say that she asked for permission to travel, but due to the late stage of her pregnancy, her doctors did not give clearance to travel. We’re in a pandemic, it’s an 8 hour flight, and Meghan is in the last trimester of her pregnancy – it makes sense that she wouldn’t travel. However, it is also likely that either or both 1) she was not invited to attend the funeral; and/or 2) she simply didn’t want to attend. All of those things can be true at the same time.

It has been reported but not yet confirmed that Harry will not be allowed to wear a military uniform to Philip’s funeral. We will see if this turns out to be the case.

Additionally, UK newspaper The Times has published a story saying that The Queen is contemplating allowing Prince Harry the style of His Royal Highness on material related to the funeral, like the funeral program. This will be an interesting outcome no matter what is done, as it will point to the thoughts and feelings of the Queen with regard to Prince Harry. If he is allowed to be styled with an HRH, it will be a pretty clear indicator that Harry has been, if not forgiven by the Queen, at least shown a great deal of kindness in a very difficult period. If he is not allowed to be styled with the HRH, it could point to the Queen indicating that things are still frosty between Harry and the rest of the BRF, and that, Harry’s current situation stands in contrast to the life of service lived by Prince Philip.

Andrew has been allowed back into the spotlight

Prince Andrew has been allowed to be seen publicly as a member of the BRF for the first time since his disastrous Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis and subsequent firing from official royal duties in late 2019. Andrew was even allowed to speak to cameras after today’s small church service at the chapel at Royal Lodge, which is Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s residence.

Everything that Prince Andrew has said about the loss of his father has been nice. And some have argued that Prince Andrew is just as affected by this death as any of his siblings or his mother, so he should be able to speak his peace. Okay. But the BRF allowing Prince Andrew to get in front of multiple camera to speak, as well as holding today’s church service at his residence, as well as showing photos of him driving to Windsor to visit The Queen, is a clear image rehabilitation by the BRF. And I’m not afraid to say that it is a mistake on the part of the BRF to have him seen in such a public way at a time like this. No one is denying Andrew the right to grieve his father; but there is no rule that says he should be allowed to express his grief in front of a camera.

Andrew is toxic. He is allegedly a sexual assaulter of minors. He had a long friendship with a convicted pedophile and a person who is currently charged with similar crimes. He has refused to speak to the FBI. Andrew and the BRF trying to rehab his image after the death of his father is a horrible, horrible PR decision. It pollutes the memory of Prince Philip.

I’m not going to link to any of the coverage about Andrew because it’s my blog and I don’t want to. But I see what the BRF is doing and I think it’s disgusting, to be frank.

Sophie Wessex has been the family’s most visible and vocal member

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has provided the most candid statements about the death of Prince Philip since the death was announced. She has also been the most visibly upset member of the BRF, which has endeared a lot of the public to her. Here, she and her husband Prince Edward were caught on camera driving to and from Windsor Castle to comfort The Queen. Sophie, visibly upset, tells the crowd that “The Queen has been amazing”:

Today, after church service at Royal Lodge, Sophie was speaking to people working on the estate (and camera crews there to catch the royals leaving church service) and gave details on Prince Philip’s death. She said, “It was right for him. It was so gentle. It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went. Very, very peaceful. And that’s all you want for somebody isn’t it?” You can see the clip below:

Here is my analysis on this: after the Sussexes decided to quit their roles as senior working members of the BRF, Sophie stepped up. She signed on for a ton more engagements, both virtual and in person. She volunteered at COVID vaccination clinics. She took video calls. The family is positioning her and Edward (mostly her) to take a lot of the work left by Harry and Meghan when they left.

There is another reason Sophie and Edward are being put front and centre now, during the mourning period for Prince Philip, because when Charles becomes King, they will become Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh (Philip was Duke of Edinburgh from his marriage to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 until his death). Upon Philip’s death, the dukedom was transferred automatically to Prince Charles, but he will not use it publicly.

When Queen Elizabeth dies and Charles becomes king, the dukedom of Edinburgh will revert back to the Crown. It has long been Charles’s intention to give the dukedom to Edward and Sophie as soon as he becomes king, at which point Edward and Sophie will no longer be known as Earl and Countess of Wessex, but Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. So it make sense that Edward and Sophie seem so involved in the events surrounding the death of Prince Philip. They are trying to do the Crown proud and to show that the dukedom will be in good hands when it is given to them.

What you can expect from me

Prince Philip’s death, like lots of royal stories since I started the blog, has led me to once again question what I’m trying to do here.

The fact is that I’m one person with a paying full-time job, and that means that I do not have the ability to devote 24 hours a day to this blog. I would love to do that, but it’s not realistic. So, knowing that I am one person and that this blog has to take a back seat to my actual, paying job (unless someone would like to buy this blog/give me a book deal/pay me lots of money to make this my full time job), I can tell you that I do not and cannot provide any of the following:

  • Breaking news on every single royal story;
  • Full coverage of every royal appearance in the coming days, before, during, and after the funeral;
  • Insider access to members of the British Royal Family; or
  • Thousands of words about the life and legacy of Prince Philip or any other member of the British Royal Family.

To be clear, what I can give you on this blog, and on my Twitter and Instagram feeds, is my take on the BRF. I can give you analysis on why certain members (or the whole of the family) did something that seems strange. I can tell you what might have been a better move in terms of strategy, politics, or public approval. I can tell you when things are silly. I can tell you when things are hypocritical and make me angry. Basically, I can give you my (educated, interested, thoughtful, sometimes silly, sometimes petty, always honest) view on things. And I really appreciate you coming here for that.

Thank you, as always, for reading. You can support me via a one-time donation on Square here, or you can sign up to support me monthly via Patreon here. You can also sign up to my free weekly email newsletter below. Stay safe, wear a mask, and please get vaccinated when it’s your turn.

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2 thoughts on “Royal family in mourning after death of Prince Philip, and what to expect from Royal Analysis

  1. Hi, well I must say I think Prince Phillip at some level found the way to die in the most providencial way for himself. He died peacefully, at a moment in time where even if the family, the goverment and the public wanted a big funeral they are unable to do so because of the pandemic so the funeral will have to be small in scale just like he wanted, and even at a moment that will make some (not all, but some) family dynamics play out the way he would have liked.
    Personally I wonder if the reason why William and Kate haven’t appear in public is because his death hit them hard, particulary William. There is no way of knowing this for now. Another reason could also be they are the ones living in London while the rest of the senior royals aren’t, so maybe they don’t want to draw a huge amount of attention to their movements, maybe they feel they need to carefully plan the moment they go out of Kensington Palace.
    I also personally think that the reason Princess Anne hasn’t appeared in public is because her father’s death did hit her hard, rumor for decades is that she was his favourite child, she is similar to him in character and outlook and everything indicates she didn’t dissaprove his parenting style unlike Charles in the 90s, so there is a chance she’s too heartbroken right now to deal with the public.
    As for Camilla, considering that now there are some stories that for some years Diana and Phillip had a cordial relationship (by letter at least) and that Phillip even wrote to Diana critizing his son choosing Camilla over her, well I think we don’t really know how well or how bad Phillip and Camilla were getting along, and in that sense she might feel it best to leave the rest of the family to lead the mourning. It must have sucked that he died on the 16th anniversary of their civil wedding, yet again it has been reported he suddendly took a turn for the worst late at Thursday night so even if he died in his own terms with some providencial timing I wouldn’t say either he had control over the exact date of his death, it was just an unfortunate coincidence.
    M not traveling for the funeral is what I meant when I said the timing of his death is providencial to have some family dynamics to play out like he would have liked. If he had died after his 100 birthday (a milestone he sort of dreaded, so he also got his wish to not really reach that age), there is a good chance M would have given birth by then, and although having a newborn would have been an excuse not to travel, it would have been less of an excuse than the pregnancy itself. We don’t know how much he knew about the Oprah interview and the fallout, there has been some reports about that but nothing we can be certain he knew for sure, still there is a good chance that he might not have wanted M at his funeral after everthing that happened, so if he had to die this was a good time to do so, when there were more chances that H would have to travel alone. I don’t know if the BRF would go as far as to not invite M (because it would throw H into hysterics and nobody needs that right now), but I do agree there is also a good chance she isn’t keen to go back to the UK (some think she will never go back, I think is hard to say at this point, I would say for years to come she will try to avoid it but who knows if she will succeed). There is also that 4th consideration that she would be a distraction, it’s bad enough that US media focused so much on whether H and her would travel to the UK or not, I found it too inaproppiate.
    As for H, I wouldn’t let him use the uniform or the HRH, but with so many stories in prior weeks of the Queen wanting to reach out to him there is a chance The Times story is accurate and she may well decide this, unless the courtiers are all so against H by now that they manage to convince her not to do it. This is one of the things that annoy me about H and M, I end up agreeing with old school courtiers and people like Nigel Farage who also critized them yesterday, ugh!
    I don’t know what to say about Andrew other than you’re right, he spoke well (silver linning I guess), but he shouldn’t be so prominent. I guess the idea is to test the waters in the UK, I get the UK is the actual support of the monarchy more than any other place in the planet but there is a global audience, it looks bad and with the H and M interview the BRF weren’t at the highest regard globally so this doesn’t help.
    Sophie and her public statements, well at least the BRF have her, right? She has been very helpfull in all this because she is allowing us to glimpse how they are coping, and so is her husband. I personally think it’s possible Prince Edward’s childhood benefited of him being the youngest child, while Charles suffered more because he was the first born. The Queen was so young when she had Charles and this was no longer the 19th century or before that when it was so common (and even so, you wonder if certain behaviours then weren’t the consequence of having parents that were so young), and well Phillip was older than 25 but still, they were young, while when Edward was born, they had more experience and maybe that helped them to parent him better than the prior 3 children. Anyways, the point is the Wessexes have hit all the right notes in their statements and you can tell is sincere which is also important.
    I like how you handle this blog and don’t worry, if people want breaking news all the major news agencies have apps for that and the UK papers are publishing lengthy stories about Prince Phillip life. To analyze things is something that I like very much (sorry to everybody for the lenghty posts btw!), and is nice to read other people’s analysis and how they view things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said, Carolina. I agree with all of your points. I think Will did take it particularly hard, especially after a stressful year and a half with the pandemic and the shenanigans that Harry and Meghan are always doing. And I agree, Sophie in particular has been a star through all of this. Apparently she has been a huge comfort to the Queen, which is nice to hear!

      Liked by 1 person

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