Queen Elizabeth’s attendance at Philip’s memorial is hanging in the balance

Why is there so much urgency around Prince Philip’s memorial/thanksgiving service on March 29? There’s so much finality to the energy around it, right? Prince Harry has made it clear that he wants to visit the Queen at some point soon, and it’s widely assumed that he may stop by the UK as he comes or goes from the Netherlands in April. But no, people keep acting like March 29th is the last time we’ll see the Queen. And even then, no one is sure that Queen Elizabeth will actually attend it, because she’s almost 96 years old and she refuses to use a wheelchair. Anyway, I was thinking about the weird energy around the memorial yet again because apparently other monarchs will make the journey to London for the service.

European monarchs have confirmed their attendance at Prince Philip’s memorial at the end of the month – but Queen Elizabeth’s attendance is now ‘in the balance’, a royal expert has claimed. It has now emerged Queen Elizabeth may not be able to attend the memorial service.

Speaking on True Royalty TV’s, Russell Myers told The Royal Beat: ‘You have to be realistic. [She is] just weeks away from 96, she has accepted her own limitations. She’s having issues moving around, [and is] described by people at the Palace as having good days and less good days… I don’t think we’ll ever see her step back, but we probably will see her less and less. Will she make Prince Philip’s memorial service in a few days? That’s in the balance.’

Meanwhile Alan Jones, Royal Correspondent for the UK’s Press Association news agency, adds: ‘The Queen obviously wanted to be at the Commonwealth Service… but she’s got mobility issues. The word we’ve been guided to use is the Queen’s comfort [is the priority].’

There are a host of other European royals set to fly into London to attend the service next week, including Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja and King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain. Meanwhile Princess Beatrix, the former Queen of The Netherlands, will be joined by her son, King Willem-Alexander, and his wife, Queen Maxima at the event. It has also been confirmed King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium will pay their respects at the event, as well as Queen Margrethe of Denmark. Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania and Prince Radu will also attend the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of The Duke of Edinburgh next week.

While a guestlist has not been announced for the event, it is understood that senior members of the royal family including the Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal and husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex will be in attendance. It’s likely the Queen and Prince Philip’s other grandchildren will also attend, including Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike and Peter Philips.

Others from his funeral guest list to attend the memorial could include the Queen’s first cousins Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, who loyally supported the monarch and Philip by carrying out royal duties over the decades. The children of the Queen’s late sister Princess Margaret – the Earl of Snowdon and Lady Sarah Chatto and her husband David Chatto – may also be in attendance.

Prince Philip’s best female friend from Sandringham, Penelope Knatchbull also attended his funeral in April, alongside three of Prince Philip’s German relatives. While it is unknown if they will definitely be in attendance, it’s likely they will be invited given their close relationship with the Duke.

[From The Daily Mail]

They already shortened the memorial service to just a brief 50 minutes, solely because the Queen doesn’t want to fart around at Westminster Abbey for hours, if she even attends. And with that many foreign dignitaries flying in, you know there will also be an expectation that the Queen should host a reception too. Is she going to make everyone trudge back to Windsor Castle after the service? Or will Queen Letizia, Queen Sonja and Queen Maxima all just board a flight back to their countries after an hour-long London trip? This thing is going to be such a mess. Maybe Prince Charles will be tasked with hosting something at St. James’s Palace, that would probably be the best solution. And why hasn’t the British side of the guest list been worked out yet? I need to know if Penelope Knatchbull (“Prince Philip’s best female friend”) will be in attendance.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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46 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth’s attendance at Philip’s memorial is hanging in the balance”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    She ain’t making it to that Jubbly.

    I feel like the other European royals are coming in to say their goodbyes to the Queen.

    • Kalana says:

      To celebrate her while she’s still here, because the next time they come it will be for her funeral. Not to be morbid but it’s clear that her health has sharply declined.

    • Elisabeth says:

      Hi Snuffles, why do you say that? Her mother passed away a few years later. She might have mobility issues but she could carry on longer for me….

      • Snuffles says:

        Look at her. She’s been rapidly deteriorating before our eyes. She’s lost a ton of weight. She’s immobile. She’s was struck with COVID. They’re hiding her away. She’s dropping out of appearances last minute.

      • C says:

        She’s lost a TON of weight in an extremely short time, looks frailer than ever, cancelling appearances left and right, moving out of Buckingham Palace….I think the writing is on the wall.

      • CC says:

        I don’t understand why there’s an expectation that the Queen must live exactly as long, if not longer, than her mother, and that it will be some sort of moral failing on her part if she doesn’t (she has plenty of legitimate moral and ethical failings – let’s not fault her for being unable to control how her body reacts to the passage of time).

      • The Hench says:

        They are talking about her being so frail that she cannot make a 26 mile journey from Windsor to central London by car as it’s “too far” for her “comfort”.

        Apparently they are considering helicoptering her into Buckingham Palace (which will take about 15 mins max) and then driving her to Westminster (with blues and twos a journey of about 5 mins) and they’re not even sure that her “comfort” will be able to cope with that either.

        The Queen is NOT well.

      • Ines says:

        People don’t tend to live to 101. Her mother was the exception, not the rule. It is clear the Queen’s health is in sharp decline.

      • Feeshalori says:

        @The Hench, what are blues and two please? And that does sound like ominous news regarding the queen. I think it’s more than just a kerfuffle over her not wanting to be seen in a wheelchair.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Feeshalori – it’s a police escort, the blue flashers and the two notes of the siren.

      • Elizabeth Phillips says:

        Feesalori, it’s lights and sirens.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Thanks for the responses, ladies, that’s such neat colloquialism!

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t know about the jubbly – I feel like she might still be around for that- but I do think overall this is a “farewell to the Queen” event and these monarchs are coming because they know it will likely be the last time they see her. I think there will be a reception of some sort before or after the service. (probably after, that makes more sense.)

      • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

        I’d guess that she’ll make it to the Jubbly, but not last long afterwards. There’s been research that shows that it’s common for older people to make it to a big anticipated event, but as soon as it’s over, that’s it.

    • Athena says:

      They are all coming to say their goodbyes to Elizabeth Regina.

  2. equality says:

    The Queen supposedly funds the “non-working” royals when they attend certain events, I wonder if this is one of those type things. Will they effectively be paid to go to their grandfather’s memorial service or will only the “working” royals be paid to attend?

  3. Amy Bee says:

    Both she and her aides don’t want her to be seen in a wheelchair so I don’t think she will be in attendance.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yup, she’s much too vain to be seen in a wheelchair. They should just cancel her going. I know that they will drag this out but it’s apparent that her health has been deteriorating rapidly these last few months.

      Though, will these fabulous women, and men, attending we will get some fabulous pictures of their beautiful clothes!!! Hopefully Chaz will host a small affair afterwards.

  4. Susan says:

    At the risk of being obtuse….I must ask…why is there such hype around this memorial service? and better yet, why is there another memorial service less than a year after his death? Is this normal? I don’t recall a second memorial service for Diana. Or Margaret. Or the queen mother now that I think about it. My dad passed in 2020 and honestly, it never ever occurred to me to have a second funeral/memorial in 2021.

    • Snuffles says:

      Because they wanted to lure Harry back for another round of “Is Harry reconciling with the family and coming back into the fold” speculation.

    • windyriver says:

      Because attendance at the actual funeral last year was limited to 30 people due to Covid. Sounds like that was actually more in line with what Philip might have wanted, but if not for the pandemic, attendance would have been much greater, and included many of the people (e.g., royals from other countries) coming to the memorial.

    • Jan90067 says:

      It was originally touted/slated as a memorial service for his patronages and charities workers that, due to Covid restrictions, were not able to attend last year (size had to be kept to 30, meaning immediate family, and Penny).

      Now, it’s a free-for all atmosphere, where everyone has been invited, it seems.

    • TigerMcQueen says:

      I’m guessing the memorial is a second funeral service so Europe’s other royal families can give Phillip the send off Betty and the courtiers think he should have gotten had he not died at the height of a pandemic. That’s all I got.

      But I still look at this and think ‘why???’

    • SnarcasmQueen says:

      Because covid didn’t allow for the full pageantry experience these people think their “life of service” entitles them to. Forget how much that life has cost already, they need a full, highly choreographed, look how much the people loved him, wallow in ceremonial grief.

      • Chergui says:

        In fairness a lot of normal people are holding memorial services for those who died during Covid due to the fact that few people could attend funerals. I think it gives families the chance to feel they’ve given their loved ones the send off they would have liked to.

  5. SnarcasmQueen says:

    The only part of this whole business I’m interested in is seeing just how old and outdated Kate will look amidst the rest of the royal ladies.

    • HeatherC says:

      I agree, she had it easy, competing against Camilla and Sofie. Now let’s throw in Letizia, Maxima, hey maybe some Greek royal cousins…like married-in Princess Marie-Chantal.

  6. Polo says:

    The petty side of me wants her to cancel just to stuff it to the Rota for how they acted with Harry. Without her there it doesn’t hold the same weight or command the same level of media coverage.

  7. AuntRara says:

    And what are they going to do with old Uncle Andy? Not have him attend? Have him attend, but stay far, far away from people who don’t want to appear in photos with him? (Which would probably be everybody?) Have him sneak in a side door and sneak out again?

    Or just have him walk in next to his siblings like nothing is amiss?

  8. Merrie says:

    A purely superficial comment, but don’t all the other royal families look so much better than the House of Windsor? There are some good genes out there, but the Queen and her offspring did not get them. Also, the other royal couples look happy together. Liking who you’re around makes a difference!

  9. Chaine says:

    It’s very sad that what seems to be her final influence on public life in her country will be to revive and perpetuate the archaic notion that using a wheelchair is somehow shameful.

  10. MissMarirose says:

    Seems kinda rude to skip a ceremony that a bunch of heads of state are going to attend just because you don’t want to be seen in a wheelchair. There has to be more to it than that.

  11. CC says:

    Sure, all the European royals have probably been given a fourth dose of the vaccine on the sly, but why would they want to fly into the UK and its variant surge? Will anyone be masked at this event?

  12. Trimmeddownmonarchyisboring says:

    I bet Penny will not be going because the queen cant take another slap in the face and now that Philip’s gone, gone is penny also. Why would she have her there? Penny can reminisce from her own home – would that be wood farm and the reason why Sandringham will not be her end game home?

  13. Catherine says:

    IMO. The desperation to stage this event and have the Queen present is (1) because one of the main priorities of the institution is imagery. The British royal family knows that much of its power lies in all the pageantry that reinforces the idea of their superiority. The imagery isn’t as powerful without the Queen. (2) They use these large scale events as “payment” to all their associates and benefactors. The Cambridge’s had three formal separate receptions for their wedding. That was needed to accommodate all the royal/royal adjacent individuals and organizations. These things are used to maintain and demonstrate status. Lastly, I think it’s part of the invisible contract with the media. They more than anyone want the imagery. It’s been widely reported that Philip didn’t want “all the fuss” and even before he died there were reports that he didn’t want anything to do with the plans being made for his 100th birthday but those elaborate plans were being made anyway. The institution and the media wanted the show.

  14. Murphy says:

    I’m guessing Japan won’t be sending Takamodo as usual since they’re a bit stricter with the Covid rules.

    • tamsin says:

      Aside from monarchs supporting other monarchs, Philip was related, no matter how tenuously, to many of the European houses, and so is the Queen.

  15. phlyfiremama says:

    *me waiting for the RR to blast headlines about how she is slapping herself in the face by not attending