There will be a ‘service of thanksgiving’ to celebrate Prince Philip’s life in April


Just a few hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their Christmas card on December 23, the desperados over at Chez Petty just had to make a big announcement about their future plans. It was as obvious as can be! What was interesting about this announcement was that it didn’t come from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Usually, William and Kate can’t stand to let Meghan and Harry have any kind of spotlight, and I was not surprised to see the flurry of photos and videos from Kate’s piano recital released in the 24 hours after the Sussexes’ card (although I would guess that Kensington Palace had already planned to release that stuff on that timeline). No, immediately after the Sussexes’ holiday card dropped, suddenly the Queen’s courtiers had a big announcement:

The Queen has agreed that a service of thanksgiving for the life of her late husband Prince Philip will take place in spring at Westminster Abbey, it was confirmed today. The congregation will include family, friends, dignitaries and representatives of many charities and organisations with which the Duke of Edinburgh was associated.

Further details will be announced in the coming months, with the service likely to take place around one year after Philip’s death at Windsor Castle aged 99 on April 9.

The Queen is thought to have been considering holding a national service of thanksgiving for Philip for some months, and has now rubber-stamped the plans. Various organisations will now be approached about plans for the service, with arrangements being flexible due to the ever-changing situation with Covid-19.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘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.’

[From The Daily Mail]

So by this account, the Queen “agreed” to it on December 23rd, around the same time as Harry and Meghan’s card was breaking the internet. Riiight. And it’s not even like they were confirming a date for the event!! It’s still just an idea, a loose plan to do something in April. It’s also very odd to me that Buckingham Palace keeps pushing all of these plans months in advance, especially given that the Queen has been in very poor health for more than two months. The flurry of “planning” needs to slow down.

Anyway, this “service of thanksgiving” will absolutely be the next big storyline for the British papers. The next three months will be full of stories about whether Harry and Meghan will “bring the children over” to celebrate the life of Harry’s beloved grandfather. There will be stories about how no one wants Harry and Meghan to come, and how William is trying to ban his brother from celebrating Philip’s life and on and on. Prepare yourselves.

Queen's Christmas broadcast

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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39 Responses to “There will be a ‘service of thanksgiving’ to celebrate Prince Philip’s life in April”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    I actually think it was always the Palace’s intention to announce the service when they did. The Palace had to give the press something since there was not going to be the traditional Christmas Day walk. The problem that the Palace has is they are unable to coordinate with Harry and Meghan. I think the wording of the Queen’s statement about the death of Desmond Tutu was purposely chosen to preempt a statement from Harry and Meghan but they put one out anyway prompting Charles to put out his own later. The Palace is going have more issues like this in the future because they no longer speak for Harry and Meghan. I think the bad reaction to Lili’s birth was partly due to the Palace not having control of Harry and Meghan and the announcement of a new member of the family.

    That the Queen agreed to having a Thanksgiving service for Philip tells me that the idea didn’t come from her but from the courtiers and the press. It was the press that first started talking about this event and I think it’s a ruse to get Harry and especially Meghan to go to the UK. As soon as this announcement was made one of the Royal reporters stated talking about whether Harry and Meghan would attend. He was of the view that Harry would but not Meghan. If the press are so sure that she won’t go it means they know that the Palace and the family did a lot of bad things to Meghan.

    • Jane says:

      Yes, it ties in with the fact that the Christmas Day speech was all about Philip as well.

    • swaz says:

      This is all about the UK press having something to talk about, to keep articles flowing. You scratch my back and I scratch yours. This is the Royal Family MO, another angle of bad press for Harry and Meghan, are they coming to see the Queen before she dies smh.

    • NCDancer says:

      @Amy Bee. You are exactly right. Two years on and the royal infrastructure is still playing defense against a team that stopped playing and walked off the field. It’s such bad PR strategy. I always tell my clients to be sure of the message and stick to it. They are so busy trying to anticipate what might happen that they lose any control of the narrative. The royal family just needs to be the royal family and stop worrying about the relations l in California. However that gets us to the crux of the problem: what they are is wildly out of touch with the interests and appetites of modern society. They have a product not a lot people want to buy.

      • Charm says:

        Um……@NCDANCER u mean:….still playing defense against a team….tht never agreed to play the game in the first place.

  2. Aurora says:

    I don’t get making advanced announcements concerning events for someone in their 90s. That seems to be tempting fate but I guess owning the Sussexes is more important.

    I also don’t get why they expect the Sussexes to bring two children across the ocean during a pandemic who are too young to be vaccinated.

    • JT says:

      I also don’t get them making this announcement in advance. Every single plan that has been made on behalf of the queen has failed. From Remembrance Day, to the balcony thing, Christmas at sandringham have all fell through. You would think they would’ve learned something. They really need to start playing by ear with their plans but it’s the palace and they have the press to feed and are stupid.

    • harperc says:

      Yeah I agree.

      Part of me wonders if all the plans for the jubilee are being made in such a way that they could double for a funeral, since they’ve been planning it for months.

      Like, she’s 95 and not in good health. Planning something so far in advance is presumptuous at best.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      this reeks of the failed broken Britain project press release. remember that was announced well in advance of the launch with no confirmed date, but around the same time of a Sussex press release, similar to this announcement.

    • Ainsley7 says:

      It’s a service for Philip. If the Queen were to die around the end of March/ early April than the service *might* be canceled. If she dies any time between now and mid March than it will go on as planned. The Queen isn’t a necessary part of the service. So, it’s fine to plan this far ahead.

  3. Izzy says:

    LMAO and still I missed this one. The only news I heard about was the Sussex card. This got buried.

  4. Over it says:

    I give them points for trying to steal focus, but honestly if you didn’t post this service of remembrance thing, I never would have know, so yeah, good luck Windsors with no wind beneath their sail.

  5. Eurydice says:

    I think we all have “loose plans” for the spring. Everything on my calendar for January and February has been postponed to the spring because of Covid, and I can’t be sure that this will get better by April.

  6. Jan says:

    The Courtiers never learn, it would’ve made no difference if it was announced a day later.
    I can’t understand why the BM and the BRF don’t ignore the Sussexes and stop with this one sided competition.
    Oprah’s interview I think was one of the most Google searches, the Dailyfail was trending in a lot of countries and Worldwide, “Meghan won” was in most newspapers.
    The BM think if they don’t talk about, no one would pay attention, too late for that.

  7. Kalana says:

    This is the first time I’ve noticed what people are saying about the Queen being thinner and more frail. The last year has clearly been hard on her.

    • Jan90067 says:

      I think she’s also lost weight due to giving up alcohol. She’s been pretty well pickled for most of her adult life. She’s had drinks with lunch, pre-dinner drinks, wine with dinner, and of course, her pre-bed champers.

      While I’m sure the other obvious things have affected her, lets face it: she and Phil lived apart (him w/another woman!) for a *long* while before he died, and she really didn’t worry about masking up or have her personal lifestyle really cramped due to “lockdown” in a palace sitting on thousands of acres, with servants waiting on her hand and foot.

      • Demi says:

        She could be having a number of health issues that required her to be on a diet as part of the treatment plan diabetes, heart disease& high cholesterol are common issues with older people & needs healthy eating to control

      • windyriver says:

        Also, many medications don’t play well with alcohol (and many older people are on at least some meds), alcohol is metabolized more slowly as you age (e.g., increasing the potential for falls), and drinking can exacerbate conditions such as high blood pressure, for anybody. Lots of reasons to trim the daily alcohol consumption, in addition to any other dietary changes.

  8. ABritGuest says:

    I think the establishment wanted this memorial service because covid meant the funeral was small so it was a bit of a missed opportunity for some heavy royal propaganda & to have world leaders etc there to pay tribute etc

    I also think the invisible contract is at play because the express reported this months ago & so with no Sandringham Christmas walk- the palace confirming this now was probably the palace giving the press a solid. I also think the press wanted this memorial service as Meghan couldn’t make the funeral & they desperately want their money maker back on British soil especially as there will be no trial. They want new images & palace gossip. Now they’ve seen the kids they probably want the whole family in Britain more than ever. The express’ royal reporter was speculating about the Sussexes attending this memorial service immediately & saying that palace sources think Meghan will never return to Britain & Philip’s memorial service is “a chance to prove them wrong”. Eye roll.

  9. Mellie says:

    I’ve said it before on here and I’ll say it again….there is no way in hell that I would bring my kids over there, pandemic or not. So many of those people are crazy, I would be scared for my kids and for myself. If you read the comments on the BM, they are so full of hatred for this family…not worth it. Stay home Sussex family, please stay home!

  10. Charm says:

    The #Sussexes are going to be busy in April. The Invictus Games in the Hague is going full speed ahead. But if covid forces another postponement then theres no way on god’s green earth tht H&M will be going to Europe…..neither on the continent nor to Struggle Island.

  11. one of the Marys says:

    I’ll only say that I’m on the side of ‘I hope Meghan never ever sets foot in Britain again’

    • Oh says:

      Harry should never set foot on that rotten island without his wife

    • She probably will at some point, if only to visit friends. She and Harry are on good terms with the York sisters.
      But if she does, it’ll be on her terms–not to appease a dysfunctional anachronism of a “family” who threw her to the wolves.

      • L84Tea says:

        If she does, I think it will be to do something personal (visit friends, visit charities, etc) and will be known after the fact. I am struggling to believe Meghan will ever go to the UK for anything related to the RF again. Except for MAYBE the queen’s funeral. Maybe.

  12. Commonwealthy sounded witty at first says:

    This would have been a good January announcement for BP. It had nothing to do with Christmas, and a date hasn’t been set. If it was to underscore Queen’s Christmas message about Philip and/or distract from no Christmas walk and/or or give clicks to hungry reporters, okay, could have been announced on 27th then. This timing did them no favors, and anyone who thought it detracted from the most famous celebrity Christmas card to date is deluded.

  13. Merricat says:

    They pulled out the Big Gun, but not even great-granny can compete with the power of her namesake.

  14. Catherine says:

    My guess is they are going to schedule this sevice either immediately before or even during Invictus ( April 16-22 ) in order to try to clout chase off the world wide media attention the Sussexes will get because of attending. They were definitely trying to clout chase with the timing of the announcement. They thought they would get in on the attention the Sussexes were getting for the photo. Instead, nobody; not even those on toxic island cared. They are also going to try to get some sort of public confirmation. But I think the Sussexes will handle it the same way Harry handled the funeral and the statue unveiling. The BM assumed he was attending but the weren’t 100% certain until he arrived for quarantine. Also, the BM had no confirmations or denials about their intentions for Christmas. The fact that they have already started speculating tells you how desperate they are for the cash the Sussexes generate. Also, I think they will either attend as a couple or not at all. IMO. Meghan would have come back with Harry in Apr/July if she hadn’t been heavily pregnant/just given birth. I don’t think they will bring the children but if they do we won’t see them. I think it depends on if they come to the UK as part of an extended trip to work or if they come just to attend those events. They both made it clear that they would continue to support the organizations they were already involved with. Even if they bring the children I don’t think we will see them involved in any royal pap strolls or photo ops.

    • Merricat says:

      Agreed on all points.

    • windyriver says:

      Well, Philip died on April 9, so scheduling it just before Invictus wouldn’t be a stretch. That’s a Saturday. The other interesting question is, how to fit it in with the religious observances. April 10 is Palm Sunday, and the next weekend, when Invictus starts, will have Good Friday (also Passover) on April 15, and Easter Sunday on the 17th. That would give them a good excuse to schedule it just after Invictus, which would probably work best for Harry, if they’re really hoping he (and Meghan) will attend.

      If it were me (e.g., if I were TQ, etc.) I’d want to schedule the service in late March, or after Easter Sunday. The first anniversary of a close family member’s passing (even one you have mixed emotions about) can be tough, and I’d want to have private space on the day, and as that day approached. But that’s probably a bit too human for the Firm; most likely scheduling will be calibrated around whatever date they anticipate will provide the maximum PR, as you suggest.

      On another note, what’s the chance of Dr. Jill attending Invictus, as she has in the past?

  15. Tessa says:

    Countdown to constant coverage of Will Harry and Meghan be there? question.

  16. Deeanna says:

    Why would “world leaders” attend a “thanksgiving service” for someone who has already been dead for a year?

    Also, are “thanksgiving services” common in Britain?

    • Julia K says:

      This isn’t for Philip. As noted in the comments above, it is most likely scheduled to leach away attention from Invictus games, Prince Harry’s event and passion.

  17. Misskitten says:

    Why do they need to have a “thanksgiving” for Prince Phillip a YEAR after he died??? Is there any precedence for this???

  18. Robin Samuels says:

    The Royal Family are the most competitive, attention-seeking adults. I didn’t watch the Queen’s annual speech (never do), but I understand there were multiple cutaways. I imagine it was to minimize her frail appearance. I don’t see the masses standing in front of the venue to honor Prince Philip but rather to see the dog and pony show, especially if the Sussexes attend. It’s risky to plan for April because of the holiday season, and hopefully, the pandemic will be under control. The Hague is going into lockdown next month. I’ve read that H&M doesn’t like to be away from the children for extended periods, so it’s not sure if Meghan and the children will go to the IG and then travel to the UK. If she never set foot in that horrific country again would be pleasing to me. However, I can understand her being moral support for Harry. I agree the purpose of the premature announcement is to feed the starving press. That Invisible Contract is a powerful force.

  19. blunt talker says:

    A big if the Sussex family will attend-that’s going to depend on the pandemic and if its raging as it is now-the Sussex children are not vaccinated-they are under the age of 5-Harry and Meghan will not sacrifice their Children’s health to see nobody-If they attend anything it should not be known they are coming-arrive queitly with no fuss and exit with no fuss. Keep themselves on the down low with less exposure to the British press or public.

  20. Well Wisher says:

    This would be for the British public.