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Discover the Meaning behind Prince Philip's Medals & Regalia Placed on the Altar at His Funeral

Monica Otayza
Apr 22, 2021
03:30 A.M.
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The late Prince Philip had his personal medals and regalia displayed on the altar of St. George's Chapel during his funeral. Each had a significant meaning to the duke's life.


Prince Philip's insignias were on display at St. George's Chapel for his funeral, and it included the medals and decorations conferred on him by the UK and other Commonwealth countries. They also paid tribute to his Greek and Danish backgrounds by adding the Order of the Elephant and Order of the Redeemer. 

The late Duke of Edinburgh's regalia was sewn on burgundy velvet cushions by two seamstresses before the ceremony. Medals and regalias are a country's way of expressing gratitude to someone who had served the state and recognized one's achievements. 

The Royal Family at Westminster Abbey for the burial of The Queen Mother | Photo: Getty Images



Prince Philip had a total of 61 decorations and awards from 53 countries, which made it impossible to display everything at the altar. Instead, they chose to display Commonwealth orders and decorations and those from Greece and Denmark as they were the most suitable to the duke.

The pieces include the Order of the Garter, which is a collar made of 22-carat gold, a badge with Saint George slaying a dragon named the greater George, a sash with a badge called the lesser George, a breast star with the motto of the order "Honi soit qui mal y, pense," which means to "Evil to him who evil thinks," and the garter itself. 



The institution also displayed the Royal Victorian Order collar and badge, the British Empire collar, the Grand Masters badge, the Royal Victorian Chain, and the Order of Merit. The Order of Merit has only been given to 24 people, and it is an award given to those who have shown exemplary service in the Armed Forces, science, literature, art, and the promotion of culture. 

In one cushion, the Field Marshal's baton, the most senior appointment in the British Army, is placed beside Philip's Royal Armed Forces wings. He is a licensed pilot, gaining Royal Armed Forces wings in 1953 before his helicopter wings in 1956 and his private pilot's license in 1959.



Prince Philip received the Order of the Australian Knight, Order of Canada, Canada Order of Military Merit, Papua New Guinea Order of Logohu, Zanzibar Brilliant Star of Zanzibar, Brunei Esteemed Family Order, Order of New Zealand, and Singapore Order of Darjah Utama Temasek.

There were also 18 medals on display, including the Queen's Service Order, New Zealand, which he received in 1981 in recognition of his service to the crown. They also showed medals representing the royal family, including the King George VI Coronation Medal 1937, the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, 1953, and Queen Elizabeth II Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilee Medals. 



They also had the 1939-1945 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Burma Star, Italy Star, and War Medal 1939-1945 on display to pay tribute to his service during World War II. His medals from Canada, New Zealand, Malta, Greece, France, and the Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct were also shown.

The Duke of Edinburgh planned certain parts of his funeral while he was still alive, including the music to be played during the service. He requested to play the hymn Eternal Father, Strong To Save, associated with seafarers and marines. 



The late prince's coffin was brought to St. George's Chapel through a Land Rover that he helped design. He was an avid enthusiast of art and design, translating into many projects he worked on throughout his life. 

His funeral also did not have a sermon, in line with his personal requests. Instead, the Royal Family has showered him with praise and kind remembrance on social media for the rest of the world to see. 


Only 30 of his family members were allowed entry to the funeral in line with COVID-19 protocols. There was a flower arrangement with a handwritten note from Queen Elizabeth herself on top of his coffin. The note read "I love you," signed with "Lilibet" at the bottom, which was the duke's nickname for his wife. 

After 73 years of marriage, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth's love story will be etched in history books for generations to learn about. They were a power couple that influenced many things globally, especially in the Commonwealth, where they reigned.