Sinn Fein Leader Apologizes for 1979 Killing of Prince Philip’s Uncle

LONDON — Seeking to salve an old wound at a time of sorrow for Britain’s royal family, the political leader of the Irish republican movement apologized on Sunday for the 1979 assassination of Louis Mountbatten, an uncle of Prince Philip.

Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sinn Fein, which was once the political wing of the underground Irish Republican Army, told a London radio station, “Of course, I am sorry that happened; of course, that is heartbreaking.”

Ms. McDonald offered the landmark apology a day after Queen Elizabeth II buried her husband, Philip, in a ceremony at Windsor Castle that paid tribute to his military career. His uncle Lord Mountbatten, a celebrated commander during World War II who later served as the last viceroy of India, overseeing its partition and transition to independence, was killed after a bomb exploded on his fishing boat off the coast of Ireland.

The assassination, carried out by members of the I.R.A., was one of the highest-profile attacks during the Northern Ireland Troubles, and the one that struck closest to the heart of the royal family. In addition to his ties to Philip, Lord Mountbatten was friendly with the queen and a mentor to the couple’s eldest son, Prince Charles.

In elections last year, Sinn Fein won roughly the same number of seats in Parliament as each of Ireland’s two establishment parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Since neither wanted to form a government with Sinn Fein — in part because of its I.R.A. legacy — they agreed to enter into a formal governing coalition for the first time.

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Prince Philip Is Laid to Rest in a Somber 50-Minute Ceremony

LONDON — His coffin borne on a military green Land Rover that he had helped design, Prince Philip was laid to rest on Saturday at Windsor Castle in an austere, meticulously choreographed funeral that captured his steely role in Britain’s royal family and offered a solemn glimpse of its uncertain future.

Queen Elizabeth II bade farewell to Philip, her husband, who died on April 9, two months shy of his 100th birthday, from solitude inside St. George’s Chapel. She was clad in a mask and kept at a distance from her children and grandchildren by pandemic social distancing requirements, which limited attendance to 30 people.

Her grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry were separated as well, by one of their cousins, as they walked behind Philip’s coffin. This quirk of royal protocol dramatized the rift between the brothers that opened after Harry’s marriage to an American former actress, Meghan Markle.

That wedding was held nearly three years ago in the same Gothic chapel on a similarly crystalline Saturday. It was both a joyful contrast and a poignant reminder of the turbulence that has enveloped the House of Windsor since its patriarch faded into retirement and a new generation of royals seized the limelight.

gospel choir and an African-American preacher, Philip’s funeral was a throwback to the monarchy’s traditions. There was no eulogy, despite some reports that Prince Charles would pay tribute to his father.

The archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, and the dean of Windsor, the Right Rev. David Conner, recited the readings, rather than family members. A choir of four, its numbers cut by the pandemic and standing apart on a stone floor, sang hymns selected by Philip, their voices echoing in the chapel’s empty nave.

The royal family listened silently, separated into family bubbles, their faces softly lighted by lamps. Harry sat alone, his head bowed during a hymn.

drew more than 100,000 complaints last week when the BBC pre-empted popular shows to dissect every aspect of Philip’s life. Some likened the wall-to-wall approach to North Korea’s.

the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother, in 2002, which drew more than a million people to watch her cortege pass from Westminster Abbey to Windsor Castle.

“There’s an enormous, almost subconscious, feeling about the monarchy in Britain that is not appreciated by the metropolitan media,” said Vernon Bogdanor, a research professor in British politics and government at King’s College London. “It’s inarticulate, but it comes out at these crucial moments.”

Philip’s funeral, however, did not draw the crowds of other royal ceremonies. Because of the pandemic, Buckingham Palace urged people not to come to Windsor, the town west of London that the castle overlooks. On a quiet Saturday, it seemed as though most people had heeded that advice.

The restrictions meant that Philip’s converted Land Rover made a trip of only a few hundred yards, rather than the 22 miles from Buckingham Palace to Windsor. Rather than crowds lining the route, troops from the Royal Navy, Marines, the Highlanders and the knights of Windsor stood at attention as he passed.

Queen Elizabeth, who turns 95 next week, followed the procession in her gleaming aubergine Bentley, not at the head of it, which would have been customary for a sovereign. Charles, her heir, headed the procession, joined by his sister, Princess Anne.

erupted after an interview that Andrew gave to the BBC in 2019, set off a tumultuous period for the royal family. Two months later, Harry and Meghan announced their plans to step back from official duties and leave Britain.

They settled in Southern California, resurfacing last month for an extraordinary interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which Meghan said that a member or members of the royal family had raised qualms about the skin color of the couple’s unborn baby.

Philip retired from his duties in 2017, moving to a cottage on the grounds of one of the queen’s estates, Sandringham, where he painted in oils and pursued his hobby of driving carriages.

There was a quiet nod to Philip’s hobby at the funeral: As his coffin traveled through the quadrangle at Windsor, it passed a polished dark-green carriage with his two beloved ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm.

Stephen Castle contributed reporting.

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Prince Philip’s Funeral Marks the End of an Era for U.K. Royal Family

LONDON — Elizabeth and Philip were married the year I was born — 1947 — when Britain’s deference toward its royal family had not yet been exposed to the merciless shredding that was to come. Back then, my own family might almost have seen itself reflected, albeit remotely, in their lives.

Like Prince Philip, whose funeral is on Saturday, my father had served in World War II, on deployments that were so protracted that, my mother recalled, she went three years without seeing him. In London, Buckingham Palace was bombed. So, too, were the rowhouses in Barrow-in-Furness in northwestern England where my aunts, uncles and grandparents lived, close to the shipyards targeted by the German Air Force.

When Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, we clustered around a small black-and-white television at a neighbor’s home to follow what was billed as the country’s first coronation to be broadcast live. Certainly, it was a moment of pomp that seemed to fete Britain’s re-emergence from postwar deprivation.

British Broadcasting Corporation received about 100,000 complaints about its television coverage of the event when it canceled its scheduled programming in favor of blanket coverage of Prince Philip’s life and his death at the age of 99. Some people likened the obituary programming to what might be expected in North Korea.

Broadcasters “got the tone completely wrong,” Michael Cole, a former BBC royal correspondent, said in an interview with the rival Channel 4 News. Their hushed voices, he said, suggested that they had assumed the somber mantle of “self-appointed chief pallbearers” whose “sepulchral” utterances would have been more appropriate to a personal bereavement.

the kind of Prince Philip more favored by the script writers of “The Crown” than by official biographers. One of his sons, Prince Andrew, called him the “grandfather of the nation.”

But time and familiarity do not always breed fondness, or heal any wounds left by his statements in a country that has become more diverse. Much of the outpouring of sorrow may well have been directed at the queen, a widow facing the rigors of her reign without her “liege man of life and limb,” as her husband swore to become at her coronation.

Throughout the crises that have threatened to upend the institution she has fought doggedly to secure, Philip had been her “strength and stay all these years,” as the queen said in 1997.

It may be that historians will one day penetrate the fog of obfuscation that shrouds Prince Philip’s role in many of the royal family’s crises, part of the blend of aloofness, formality and pageantry by which the monarchy seeks to survive at the titular helm of an ever-shrinking, post-imperial domain.

In these days, few have wished to speak ill of the dead, preferring to focus on the prince’s emblematic place in the chronicles of those, like Meghan and Diana, whose marriages into the House of Windsor challenged them to come to terms with its secretive ways and define their often unscripted roles within, or outside, it.

In a sense, Philip outlasted all of them. Yet his departure may come to be seen as a grim and poignant dress rehearsal, for in those same years the queen has assumed a seemingly immutable position as the nation’s center of gravity. Her reign has overlapped the tenures of 14 British prime ministers and an equal number of American presidents.

In the reverence of the moment, the unspoken question is how she could ever be replaced as the guarantor of her line.

Back in those postwar days of the 1940s and 1950s, British schoolchildren learned by rote the names and lineages of her regal forebears, from Tudors, Plantagenets and Stuarts to Hanoverians, Saxe-Coburgs and Windsors.

In an era of far more divided loyalties and aspirations, the one lesson that may have endured may be found not so much in the names and titles of the past as in the fact that, save for a brief period in the 17th century, the monarchy itself has survived — though rarely without hard choices, stubborn resilience and often reluctant or enforced renewal.

Now is a time of mourning for Philip, who welcomed generations of young royals on their wedding days and who is credited with spurring an earlier period of self-assessment and renewal in the monarchy. That task will fall to others in coming years, in a world that may be less sympathetic than the one that welcomed the young royals on their wedding day.

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Prince Philip’s Funeral Will Include a Call to Battle

LONDON — Toward the end of the carefully choreographed, 50-minute planned funeral service for Prince Philip, scheduled for Saturday, the “Last Post” will be played by musicians from Britain’s Royal Marines. But the military buglers will then have one further duty requested specifically by Prince Philip: sounding so-called Action Stations — a call used on naval warships to summon crew to battle readiness.

Announcing the funeral plans, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday that the ceremony will reflect the personal wishes of Prince Philip, who had a distinguished naval career, serving in the Second World War, before becoming consort to Queen Elizabeth.

But — at a time when many families have lost relatives to Covid-19 and pandemic restrictions remain in place — the arrangements reflected the reduced scale of an occasion trimmed to comply with government rules.

The funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. and will be televised but will take place behind the formidable walls of Windsor Castle. With Covid-19 concerns in mind, Buckingham Palace has urged people to stay away, saying there will be nothing for the public to see.

Only 30 mourners will enter St. George’s Chapel, where the service will be held, and all will wear masks and sit socially distanced, including the queen.

The proceedings seem designed to ease tensions within the royal family where possible. No military uniforms will be worn, a decision that avoids singling out Prince Harry, who lost his military titles after stepping aside from royal duties and could have been the only senior male royal in civilian clothing — despite having served in Afghanistan for the British Army.

Saturday’s ceremony will be the first time Prince Harry has reunited with his family since he said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last month that his brother and father were trapped in an unhappy life as royals. But he will not be placed directly next to his brother, Prince William, in a short funeral procession that will take place through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

During the procession, the coffin will be moved to St. George’s Chapel. The procession will be led by the band of the Grenadier Guards, a regiment of which Prince Philip was colonel for 42 years.

Queen Elizabeth will arrive at the chapel by car, but Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward, as well as Princess Anne and Princes William and Harry, will follow the coffin on foot as it is driven the short distance to the chapel on a modified Land Rover four-wheel drive.

Not only did Prince Philip chose this vehicle, he is also thought to have helped with its modification as part of plans that he approved.

In normal times crowds would have gathered as would hundreds of mourners who would have been invited to attend. But, with numbers so restricted, even Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not attending.

The choir will be reduced to just four people, and mourners will not be encouraged to sing. At the end of the ceremony — after a lament has been played, the buglers have performed, and the national anthem been sung by the choir — the coffin will be lowered into the chapel’s Royal Vault.

Funerals for senior members of the royal family are planned in advance as contingencies and given code names based on different bridges. In Prince Philip’s case, the code name was Forth Bridge, a reference to the city of Edinburgh, and the prince’s title as the Duke of Edinburgh.

Buckingham Palace has not said when Prince Philip last approved his funeral plans, or whether he did so once Covid-19 restrictions were in place, requiring the ceremony to be slimmed down.

But planning for the funeral first began so long ago that the prince was said to have once remarked that several of those who helped to design it never lived to see it, having predeceased him.

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The BBC covered Prince Philip’s death for hours. Cue the complaints.

Shortly after Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died last Friday, the BBC cut away from its schedule to broadcast special coverage across its TV channels and radio stations for the entire afternoon and night.

As popular shows were taken off the air — including Friday’s episode of “EastEnders,” a soap opera that has run since 1985, and the final episode of “MasterChef,” a cooking competition show — the BBC was flooded with expressions of displeasure. To be exact: 109,741 complaints were received, the BBC said on Thursday, making it the most complained-about moment in the BBC’s history.

As Britain’s public broadcaster, the BBC has a pre-eminent position in British media, and its funding from the public via a license fee puts it in a difficult position. It is frequently attacked for being too liberal, and too conservative, while its access to public funding is controlled by the government, currently a Conservative administration.

The BBC tries to reflect the mood of the nation, but recently a fierce debate about the role of the royal family bubbled up after Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

the broadcaster received so many online complaints that on Friday it set up a streamlined process — a dedicated online form — for people to register their disappointment about the extent of its coverage.

The BBC said on the Thursday that the Duke of Edinburgh’s death “was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally” and that the decision to alter the schedule was made with careful consideration, which “reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance.”

Two commercial broadcasters took divergent approaches. ITV, like the BBC, reportedly also saw a large drop in viewers last Friday amid its many hours of Prince Philip coverage. Channel 4 had special programming but then offered viewers a respite by airing a popular show, “Gogglebox,” which shows people watching TV, at 9 in the evening.

On Saturday, the BBC and ITV will broadcast the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, which will not be open to the public because of pandemic restrictions.

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From William and Harry, Loving but Separate Tributes to Prince Philip

Prince William and Prince Harry joined other members of the royal family in releasing statements honoring their grandfather, Prince Philip, who died at Windsor Castle three days ago, as a man of service and a fun and loving relative.

The princes paid tribute on Monday to the Duke of Edinburgh’s devotion to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, but also nodded to their private memories of a grandfather they described warmly as sharp-witted, mischievous and affectionate to their children.

“My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service — to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family,” William said in his statement. “I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life — both through good times and the hardest days.”

“I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humor!” William said in his statement, adding that he would continue to support the Queen in the years ahead.

Harry said in his statement. “But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”

Harry said his grandfather would be sorely missed and thanked him for his service, his dedication to “Granny” and for always being himself.

He signed off his statement, “Per Mare, Per Terram” a Latin phrase meaning “by sea, by land” and the motto of the Royal Marines, hinting at he and his grandfather’s shared connection as they had both held the force’s ceremonial position of Captain General.

mending a monthslong rift that has emerged between the two brothers that Harry most recently talked about in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.

Harry, who has been living in California with his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, since spring last year, has returned to Britain to join the royal family in mourning and in anticipation of Philip’s funeral on Saturday. Meghan, who is pregnant, stayed in California after her doctor recommended that she should not travel.

Since Philip’s death on Friday at age 99, other members of the royal family have released their own personal tributes.

Prince Charles, the first in line to the throne, said that his father was a “much loved and appreciated figure” who over the last 70 years had “given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.”

After Prince Philip’s death, Britain entered eight days of national mourning, during which flags are being flown at half-staff.

Britain has only just started lifting coronavirus restrictions after its third national lockdown, and the ceremonial royal funeral of Philip, set to be held in St. George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Saturday, will be in line with the government’s rules on social distancing.

announced on Friday.

Prince Andrew, the Queen and Philip’s third child who stepped back from public life in 2019 over his ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, said, “We are all feeling a great sense of loss.” He said the Queen is an “incredibly stoic person” and told news media that the monarch had described Philip’s death as having “left a huge void in her life.”

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As U.K. Mourns Prince Philip, Some Hope Royals’ Rift Will Heal

LONDON — While the world was waiting for Oprah Winfrey’s interview last month with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the eyes of many Britons were on someone else: Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather, who had been hospitalized several weeks earlier with a heart condition.

On the front pages of British newspapers in February, Prince Charles had been pictured leaving the bedside of Philip, his father — the son’s eyes bloodshot as he was driven away. The Daily Mail castigated Harry and Meghan for comments about their departure from their royal roles, which the tabloid cast as disrespectful in light of Philip’s illness. “Have They No Respect?” a headline screamed.

That period of national concern over Philip’s health lent the royal family sympathy during an unusual dust-up within the institution, one that pitted brother against brother as Harry, in the interview with Ms. Winfrey, accused his family of racism and emotional abandonment.

Philip’s death on Friday at age 99 opened a new and uncertain chapter in the turbulent life of the House of Windsor. It has the potential to mend fences, or to sow deeper discord.

private funeral being planned for Philip. Will Harry reunite with his brother, Prince William, after a monthslong feud? Will Meghan attend?

“Harry will come home, and a meeting between the brothers and perhaps, with luck, a reconciliation over their dead grandfather could be a possibility,” said Penny Junor, a royal historian.

Or not.

“It’s going to go one way or the other,” Ms. Junor said. “There’s a sort of war going on within the family, and being played out in public. It’s been everything the family doesn’t want.”

The heating up of those tensions during Philip’s hospitalization created an awkward split screen, which defenders of Buckingham Palace used to attack Harry and Meghan for doing anything that could detract attention from the patriarch’s health.

“the Firm,” the family institution that Philip spent much of his life trying to preserve.

They said members of the family had expressed concern about how dark the skin of the couple’s then-unborn child, Archie, would be. Meghan said her efforts to seek mental health treatment had been rebuffed by palace officials, who worried about potential damage to the monarchy. And Harry said that his own relatives were “trapped,” speculating aloud about whether they, too, were wrestling with painful thoughts.

frank conversations about racism and the country’s colonial legacy. Philip’s own history of bigoted remarks was often cited as an example of anachronistic attitudes that were said to prevail within the family.

So concerned was Harry about how the interview would affect Philip and Queen Elizabeth II that he got in touch with Ms. Winfrey shortly after it aired.

“He wanted to make sure I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother or grandfather that were part of those conversations,” she told CBS News, referring to the comments about Archie’s skin color.

Philip stepped back from his busy public schedule in recent years, he continued to play an active role in big issues facing the family, Harry and Meghan’s departure among them.

The queen is Britain’s head of state, but analysts say that Philip long acted as head of the royal household. He was credited with giving television cameras an early peek at the family’s private life in the 1960s and introducing efficiencies at Buckingham Palace.

Yet his stewardship of the royal household was not without difficulties. Known for cracking the whip and delivering confrontational messages, he also wounded Charles, his oldest son, with frequent belittlements.

He was also partly blamed for the family’s seemingly grudging response to the country’s outpouring of grief over the death of Charles’s wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Britons took a forgiving view of him on Friday, though.

Beverley Pilkington, a self-described royalist from Crystal Palace in south London, traveled to Buckingham Palace to pay her respects — though without her two daughters, who she said had resisted joining her. Palace attendants had placed a notice of Philip’s death on the gates, only to take it away a short time later as a precaution against a crowd forming.

“He’s had a turbulent past,” Ms. Pilkington said of Philip. “But in death, you just have to forgive.”

Geneva Abdul contributed reporting.

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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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