Prince Philip Memorial Service 2022: where and when is event commemorating Duke of Edinburgh and how to watch
The Service of Thanksgiving is being held a few days before the one year anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death
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A Service of Thanksgiving commemorating the life of Prince Philip is being held almost a year to the day when he died.
This is everything we know about the service so far.
When is the Service of Thanksgiving and where will it be held?
The Service of Thanksgiving will be held today, on Tuesday 29 March, at Westminster Abbey.
In December of 2021, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that the Service of Thanksgiving would take place in 2022.
It said: “The Queen has agreed that a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh will take place in the spring of 2022 at Westminster Abbey.”
Over the course of Prince Philip’s life, he had long standing connections with Westminster Abbey. On 20 November 1947, he married the Queen, who was then Princess Elizabeth.
The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen celebrated their Silver, Golden and Diamond wedding anniversaries with services in the Abbey and after setting up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 1956, celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special service.
Prince Philip was also President and Chairman of the Westminster Abbey Trust, which was set up in 1973 in a bid to raise money for the restoration of the exterior of the building.
For a number of years, he additionally attended the annual Opening of the Field of Remembrance at the Abbey, which sees thousands of poppies on wooden crosses and memorials, each designed to represent an individual who has died in conflict, planted in the grounds of the Abbey.
How can I watch - and what’s the schedule?
The memorial service is being broadcast on BBC One on Tuesday 29 March, beginning at 10:30am.
Huw Edwards will present the coverage of the Service of Thanksgiving from Westminster Abbey.
The programme will run for an hour and 45 minutes and will be available on the BBC iPlayer shortly after its broadcast.
The BBC has said that the service will feature “reading and music close to the Duke’s heart” and that, alongside members of the royal family and Prince Philip’s family, representatives from a number of organisations he supported will also be in attendance after being forced to miss his funeral due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A statement from the royal family said also added: “In recognition of The Duke of Edinburgh’s long-held relationship with the Armed Forces, the Band of the Royal Marines will provide music before and after the Service.
“The Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choirs will provide music during the Service.”
Will the Queen be at the service?
The Queen will attend the service, and, according to Buckingham Palace, she was “been actively involved in the plans” of the service, “with many elements reflecting Her Majesty’s wishes”.
Prior to the service being held, there were concerns that the Queen may not be able to attend, following some recent health issues. Earlier this year, she missed the Commonwealth Service Day due to concerns regarding her comfort travelling from Windsor Castle.
A statement from the Palace said: “After discussing the arrangements with the Royal Household, the Queen has asked the Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday.”
The Queen has dealt with a number of health issues recently, having tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of February earlier this year.
Shortly prior to contracting Covid-19, the Queen was also seen with a walking stick during her first in person engagement of 2022, where she met with the incoming Defence Services Secretary Major General Eldon Millar at Windsor Castle.
In a video clip of the event, after the general asks how the Queen is feeling, she replied: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move”, and gestured to her left leg.
At the end of last year, she also spent a night in a hospital in London for “preliminary investigations”.
At the time, a palace spokesperson said: “Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime [on Thursday], and remains in good spirits.”
Will Prince Harry attend the service?
A spokesperson for Prince Harry has said that the Duke of Sussex will not be in attendance at the service. The announcement came after Prince Harry launched a legal challenge against the Home Office after he was told he would not be given the “same degree” of personal security when in the UK, despite offering to pay for it himself.
This change in police protection saw Prince Harry’s lawyers tell a court last month that he would not “feel safe” in Britain without the protection of Scotland Yard Officers.
His spokesperson said that while he won’t be returning to the UK for the memorial service, he hopes to visit the Queen soon.
The Duke of Sussex made a brief appearance in the UK in July last year for the unveiling of a statue dedicated to his late mother, Princess Diana.