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For Prince Philip, Royal Family Plans Pandemic-Muted Honors

As they mourned the death of Prince Philip, who through 73 years of marriage to Queen Elizabeth II helped preserve a monarchy that many people saw as out of place in the modern world, the royal family and the nation grappled with how to pay him final honors amid a pandemic when mass gatherings are prohibited.

Tributes and condolences poured in from around Britain and the world, and small crowds collected outside Windsor Castle, where the 99-year-old prince died, and outside Buckingham Palace in London, despite rules barring outdoor gatherings of more than six people. Many of those gathered laid bouquets at the perimeter gates.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will not lie in state for public viewing. His funeral will be held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, rather than a much larger and more public venue like Westminster Abbey in London, and because of the pandemic it will not be open to the public. More details are expected to be released on Saturday.

His death follows a traumatic 13 months in which Covid-19 has killed more than 150,000 Britons — by far the highest official toll in Europe — and social distancing requirements have deprived millions of survivors of the usual commemorations. Now it is the nation’s most prominent family dealing with the same issue. Britain currently allows no more than 30 people to attend a funeral.

insulting and bigoted comments, and the image of him as a cold father, made Philip a somewhat problematic public figure for the queen, now 94, and the royal family. But by the 1990s his controversies were overshadowed by those of his children, and his advancing age made his sharp tongue charming to many people, or simply more irrelevant than offensive.

“The Crown,” which has depicted him as maturing into a wise and dedicated, if emotionally distant, figure.

Again and again, people paying tribute on Wednesday cited Philip’s commitment to duty.

“I just have so much respect for Prince Philip and all he’s done,” Britta Bia, 53 said outside Buckingham Palace, headquarters of the royal household. “I have so much respect for the royal family. I think they’ve done so much for charitable causes, and I think they’ve been upstanding citizens of the commonwealth.”

gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey, explaining their clashes within the palace and their decision to move to California. Philip, Harry’s paternal grandfather, was not mentioned as a factor, but defenders of the royals attacked the young couple for adding strain to the family at a time when Philip was hospitalized and appeared to be in failing health.

The decision not to give Philip a state funeral and have him lie in state is in accordance with his wishes, according to the College of Arms, a part of the royal household that helps organize state occasions. The last consort of a monarch who died, Queen Mary, mother of Queen Elizabeth and widow of King George VI, did lie in state after her death in 2002.

“It is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral,” the College of Arms said in a statement.

The palace said Philip had died peacefully and did not cite a specific cause, but said he did not have the coronavirus. He had been hospitalized several times over the past decade, including once for treatment of a blocked coronary artery and, in increasingly frail condition, he had stepped back from public duties in 2017.

hospitalized for four weeks, and underwent surgery on March 3 for what the palace described only as a pre-existing heart condition. He was also treated for an unspecified infection. He was released on March 16, just 24 days before his death.

Elian Peltier, Stephen Castle, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Geneva Abdul, Alex Marshall and Daniel Victor contributed reporting.

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Prince Philip’s Life in Pictures

Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort in British history, was born into Greek royalty in the 1920s, served on a battleship in World War II, toured the world on royal missions for decades and sought for most of his life to defend the interests of Britain’s monarchy.

His life spanned almost a century of upheaval and change for Britain: As a child, he lived with a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and he died nearly 100 years old, survived by eight great grandchildren who will grow up in an era of smartphones and the internet.

Philip came to England after his father, Prince Andrew of Greece, was banished by a revolutionary Greek junta. He was educated at the Cheam School, an institution bent on toughening privileged children, and then went to Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which promoted a regimen of grueling work, cold showers and hard beds.

He met Princess Elizabeth when she was about 13 or 14. She was instantly smitten, telling her father, King George VI, that she could love no other man but him. They married on Nov. 20, 1947, when he was 26 and she was 21.

warning about greenhouse gases and lending his time to causes like protecting endangered wildlife.

But he grew to hate the relentless tabloid coverage of palace affairs. The public often perceived him as a remote if occasionally loose-lipped figure who made remarks that were called oblivious, insensitive or worse.

He was pained by the headlines that followed the tumultuous marriage and divorce of his eldest son, Prince Charles, and Lady Diana Spencer. He became known as a stern and even imperious figure in the royal family who belittled Charles, and he and the family were castigated by the public for their response to the death of Diana.

Philip died as Buckingham Palace was embroiled in turmoil over Oprah Winfrey’s televised interview last month with his grandson Prince Harry and Harry’s wife, Meghan.

Here is his life in pictures:

Philip on his ninth birthday, in Greek dress.

Philip, second from left, at the MacJannet American School in St. Cloud, France.

Philip and Elizabeth, then a princess, after their wedding ceremony on Nov. 20, 1947.

The couple in the grounds of Broadlands in Hampshire, where they spent their honeymoon, in 1947.

Elizabeth and Philip with their children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, at Clarence House, in 1951.

The queen and prince in Boston in 1975.

Philip flying a Blackburn military transport plane a few minutes before a fire extinguisher burst in 1956. He landed the plane 10 minutes later.

Throwing a javelin during a visit to the Outward Bound Sea School, in Wales, in 1949.

Feeding a colony of penguins during a visit to the Antarctic.

Philip, an avid horseman and polo player, taking part in a bicycle polo game at Windsor.

Philip at a group therapy session at the National Addiction and Research Institute in London, in 1969.

A photo of the royal family in July 1969 shows Philip and the queen with their children: Charles, 21; Anne,18; Prince Andrew, 9; and Prince Edward, 5.

Philip in 1980 driving a team of horses through a water obstacle in the World Carriage Driving Championships at Windsor Great Park.

Speaking in 1986 at a banquet held by the Japanese Equestrian Federation in Tokyo, as the chairman of the International Equestrian Federation.

Philip and the queen ride in an open carriage down the course at the Royal Ascot in 1986. He regularly accompanied Elizabeth on royal visits and often stood in for her.

Philip and Elizabeth looking at tributes that had been left outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash on Aug. 31, 1997.

Philip visiting the Richmond Adult Community College in June 2015 in London.

Elizabeth and Philip in Westminster, during the state opening of Parliament in 2012.

Philip, as colonel in chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment, inspecting members of a battalion at Queen’s Park.

Attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2017.

Feeding an elephant named Donna after opening the new Centre for Elephant Care in Whipsnade, north of London, in 2017.

Philip and Elizabeth walking in Romsey, in southern England, in 2007.

Philip at a garden party held at Buckingham Palace in June 2014, when he was 93.

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Prince Philip, Style Icon

There is a moment in the first season of “The Crown” when the actor Matt Smith, as the perennially tetchy consort of Queen Elizabeth II, bristles at the constraints of his job. With a case of lockjaw severe enough to cause concern for his molars, Mr. Smith portrays the Duke of Edinburgh (whom the queen would not make a prince until five years after she succeeded to the throne) as an arch complainer, a man who views the 20th-century monarchy as little more than “a coat of paint” on a crumbling Empire.

Prince Philip, who died at age 99 on April 9, may have been wrapped in a cloak of dramatic hooey to become a character in the hit Netflix series. Yet the role, as written, is rooted in established fact.

Headstrong by reputation, opinionated, notoriously brusque (and often, in public, misogynistic and racist), Prince Philip was also in important ways the model of a company man. By the time he stepped down from his official royal duties in August 2017, he had spent seven decades obediently working for the Firm, a term for the royal family credited to the Queen’s father, King George VI. Fulfilling the requirements of a job for which there is no precise standard, unless you consider second fiddle a job description, the prince slogged through a staggering 22,219 solo public engagements over his long lifetime. In doing so, he navigated the most challenging of corporate dress codes for more than 65 years.

The brief was clear from the outset: The queen’s consort should be impeccable yet unassuming, irreproachable in style without drawing your eye away from the one of the richest, and certainly the most famous, woman on earth. If the clothes Queen Elizabeth II wore in public were engineered to meet programmatic requirements — bright colors and lofty hats to make this diminutive human easy to spot; symbolically freighted jewelry (the Japanese pearl choker, the Burmese ruby tiara, the Obama brooch!); symbols and metaphors embroidered onto her gowns — those of Prince Philip were tailored to keep him faultlessly inconspicuous.

As a clotheshorse, he had certain natural advantages, of course.

“He was staggeringly good-looking, tall and athletic,” said Nick Sullivan, the creative director of Esquire. “That never does any harm when it comes to wearing clothes.”

Beyond that, though, were a series of confident and knowing choices. For decades, the prince’s suits were made for him by John N. Kent, a Savile Row artisan who began his tailoring apprenticeship at 15. The prince’s shirts came from Stephens Brothers, his bespoke shoes from the century-and-a-half old boot maker John Lobb. In the neatly folded white handkerchief Prince Philip habitually squared off in his breast pocket (another was kept in his trousers) could be seen a telling contrast with the dandyish puff of silk favored by his eldest son.

Unlike other members of the royal family whose tastes run to costly baubles and fine Swiss timepieces, Prince Philip habitually wore “a plain watch with a brown leather strap,” as the Independent once reported, and a copper bracelet intended to ease arthritis. He left his large hands free of jewelry and roughly manicured.

If he looked best in sporting clothes, it was because he was a true sportsman, captain of both the cricket and hockey teams at boarding school in Scotland, a polo player well past his 40s, an active participant in international coaching competitions until late in life.

He was also the only member of the Firm’s inner circle before Meghan Markle to have been foreign-born. This, too, may have given him a style advantage since it is often true that outsiders can bring a fresh eye to staid sartorial conventions, both enlivening and improving them. (It took the Japanese to explain denim to Americans and the Neapolitans to demonstrate for the English how to perfect English style.)

Search online and you will not find an image of Prince Philip committing a style solecism. There is never a novelty tie or a funny hat. For that matter, and except on obligatory state occasions, there is little enough of the comic operetta regalia beloved of Prince Philip’s uncle, Louis Mountbatten, the First Earl Mountbatten of Burma — no braiding, no frogging, no sashes or fringed and gilded epaulets.

The paradox of Prince Philip’s life may have been that, as the husband of a queen and father of a future king, he was essential to power although insignificant to its workings. And he often jokingly disparaged himself as the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler.” Yet it was probably in that role that he did his best work for the family business, since a glimpse of this elegant and diffident man was the closest most Britons would ever come to royalty’s attenuated realities and burnished grandeur. In that sense, Prince Philip was never “dressed,” in any conventional manner so much as he was outfitted for purpose.

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Prince Philip Leaves London Hospital

LONDON — Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, left a London hospital on Tuesday, according to Buckingham Palace, a month after he was initially hospitalized and later treated for a heart problem.

Prince Philip was taken from Windsor Castle, a royal residence about 20 miles west of central London, on Feb. 16 after feeling ill and was moved to King Edward VII’s Hospital in the British capital.

He was then transferred to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, also in London, to undergo surgery this month for a pre-existing heart condition, and was later moved back to King Edward VII’s, where he was discharged on Tuesday.

The palace has not disclosed the exact reason he was first taken to the hospital, retaining a practice of remaining vague about the health of the queen and her husband.

received Covid-19 vaccines in January, and last month, the queen encouraged people to get vaccinated. “Once you’ve had the vaccine, you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected,” she said in a public call with health officials.

Prince Charles, the couple’s eldest son and the heir to the throne, tested positive for the virus last year, as did Prince William, their grandson.

Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from public life in 2017 and turns 100 in June. He has been admitted to the hospital several times in recent years, including for an infection in 2012, for abdominal surgery in 2013 and for a hip replacement in 2018. He also received treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December 2011.

Buckingham Palace said that Prince Philip had returned to Windsor Castle after his discharge on Tuesday.

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‘There Is, in Britain, a Very Big Silence Around Race’

LONDON — She was married to the spirited strains of a gospel choir, her veil embroidered with the flowers of Britain’s former colonies, a rare image among rows of white princes and princesses of the post-racial, immigrant society that some imagined Britain to be.

And then that vision came apart at the seams.

Meghan’s account of racism in the royal family, delivered last week from a wicker chair outside a California mansion, did more than open new wounds at Buckingham Palace. It also called into question whether the family or, indeed, the country were as embracing of Black people as her 2018 wedding had signaled they could be.

The revelations have rippled across the so-called Commonwealth family, a group of largely nonwhite ex-colonies headed by Queen Elizabeth II, prompting calls for a re-evaluation of royal ties and, in Australia, for casting off the British crown entirely.

At home, among Britons who identified with Meghan and her son, Archie, biracial newcomers in a very white family, the interview has had a different resonance, spotlighting the hard limits of the country’s racial progress.

novelist from London, recalled his white mother being disowned by her family for marrying his father, a Black man.

the largely white, royal-obsessed British tabloid press, and for its potential to undo much of the monarchy’s work of rebuilding from the fallout of Princess Diana’s death in 1997.

But among other things, the controversy over the interview has been a particularly trans-Atlantic tug of war — between an American habit of talking bluntly about race and a British one of papering over it, historians said.

Held in an American backyard, with one of the country’s most powerful Black celebrities, the interview exposed British dealings with race to an American glare — one that historians say has been honed by decades of segregation and racial violence to detect the less overt racist acts that Britons sometimes pretend are not there.

“There is, in Britain, a very big silence around race that, in fact, there isn’t in the United States,” said Priyamvada Gopal, a professor of postcolonial studies at the University of Cambridge. “You could not have had a comparable conversation on prime-time U.K. television. There is no one with Oprah’s profile. And the idea that a talk-show host would sit down with a royal couple or anyone and discuss race at length — that’s not actually imaginable in the U.K.”

When Meghan married Harry, some Black and biracial Britons saw versions of themselves, outsiders climbing the country’s most elite institution.

“do you still throw spears at each other,” and some years before that cautioned a British student in China that he would “go home with slitty eyes” if he stayed too long. Harry himself, as a young cadet at the Sandhurst military academy, used an ethnic slur for a Pakistani fellow cadet.

Far from washing that history from Britons’ memories, Meghan has splashed it on the front pages.

“Black Britain probably feels a lot more connected to Meghan Markle today than it did three years ago,” said Kehinde Andrews, a professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University.

Mark Leonard, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, who has written about modernizing the institution.

Far from the royal palaces, Britain is nevertheless reinventing itself. As of 2011, nearly one in 10 people living in a couple in England and Wales was part of an interethnic relationship. London neighborhoods are less segregated than many cities in the United States. Elements of other cultures are slowly being absorbed into the British identity.

Not everyone is pleased with that transition; one of the appeals of Brexit was the promise of limiting immigration.

two-thirds of its deaths during the pandemic.

Senior leaders are overwhelmingly white, a phenomenon once described as the “snowy white peaks of the N.H.S.,” and nonwhite staff members are likelier to enter disciplinary proceedings.

Like the royal family, the British media, too, has often seemed to many Black Britons like it was made for a white audience. This week, television hosts have wondered aloud why asking about Archie’s skin was any different from speculating about a white baby’s hair.

Izabelle Lee, 23, said the coverage had an effect. An actress born to a white British mother and a Black Trinidadian father, she said that articles stoking fear of illegal migrants preoccupied her white grandparents.

golliwog, a racist caricature, enraging her mother. Watching Meghan speak this week, Ms. Lee said she recognized the look in her mother’s eyes when she spoke of how relatives reacted to her marrying a Black man.

“I think she felt an unfairness, and a tension,” Ms. Lee said of her mother, “that if she had a child with a white man, she wouldn’t have felt.”

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Queen Elizabeth offered a unifying message in a speech that happened to precede another royal TV appearance.

Queen Elizabeth II praised people throughout the Commonwealth for uniting during the pandemic in upbeat televised remarks on Sunday.

“We have all continued to appreciate the support, breadth of experiences and knowledge that working together brings, and I hope we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community,” the queen said.

Calling the pandemic “a time like no other,” she also commended “remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments” and frontline health care workers for their “selfless dedication to duty,” Reuters reported.

The speech was broadcast on Sunday for Commonwealth Day, a celebration of countries largely from the former British Empire that continue to maintain ties with Britain.

been strained since the duke and duchess announced they would step back from their official duties and move to North America.

The annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, which the royal family typically attends, was canceled this year because of the pandemic.

After a highly contagious variant ravaged Britain over the winter and the country tightened restrictions, confirmed cases in Britain have steadily ticked down, according to a New York Times database.

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