Many of us watched the transmission of the funeral of The Duke of Edinburgh on the afternoon of 17 April and marvelled at the ceremony and the planning that had gone into it.
We now know that Prince Philip spent more than a decade preparing for his funeral as he personally chose everything included in the ceremony, from the music to the regalia as well as some more unusual elements that were included and referenced his duties and interests.
He designed his own modified military green Land Rover hearse over the last 16 years. His career in the Navy and the connection to other parts of the armed services were acknowledged as they all played some role in the proceedings. He had to choose which of the numerous wards and decoration from the UK, the Commonwealth and other countries as there was not enough space to display them all. His personal Standard draped across his coffin acknowledged his diverse family heritage and close connections to Greece and Denmark.
It was so touching to see Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm, his favourite Fell ponies, along with the Duke’s cap, blanket gloves and whip on his carriage, a wonderful and poignant visual reminder of his love and excellence at sports. I was initially puzzled by the little container on the seat. Possibly Tupperware I thought to carry boiled sweets for his own enjoyment. Not so.
Famously down to earth and thoughtful to the end Prince Philip was thinking of others, even making sure his ponies had a little treat of sugar lumps after a carriage drive.
Like the Duke of Edinburgh, many people have thought about what they want to happen at their funeral ceremony. By taking care of many of the decisions it relives the pressure on loved ones while providing some comfort for our loved ones that they have given the best send-off by not overlooking or including people, songs, poems, reading and other elements that were so important in the lifetime of their loved one.
If you want some advice on how to plan your own service, Aspire Bespoke Ceremonies can help.
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