Gulf Today

Royal family releases images for poem


WINDSOR: Britain’s royal family has released a montage of images in memory of Prince Philip, set to a poem by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

“Patriarchs -- An Elegy” remembers Philip as a member of a generation who “fought ingenious wars, finagled triumphs at sea with flaming decoy boats, and side-stepped torpedoes” -- references to his wartime naval service.

Armitage, whose job is to write poems for significan­t national occasions, salutes those “husbands to duty. Great-grandfathe­rs from birth, in time they became both inner core and outer case in a family heirloom of nesting dolls.”

The royal family released a recording of Armitage reading the poem, accompanie­d by pictures of Prince Philip through the decades, form infancy to old age, ahead of his funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Small crowds still gathered in Windsor town centre, and on the sweeping Long Walk to the castle gates, behind barriers patrolled by uniformed police. Some held Union flags and clutched flowers, while others were seen wearing custom face masks featuring the royal’s photo.

People poured in the town of Windsor on Saturday for the occasion, although road signs in the area warned against all non-essential travel.

While some expressed sadness that the country could not fully commemorat­e Philip’s death, others said the royal family were “seting an example” by limiting numbers.

“I’m quite torn about the measures. I think the country is missing out on something,” local resident Ian Mawhinney said. “Having a small event is not what they would have wanted but they will adapt and honor (Philip) in their own way,” he added.

Sasha Spicer, who wore a Union flag poncho, said she turned up to say “thanks for service to the country and that we’ll miss you.”

“He was a fantastic role model and someone who was known for his banter. Quite a character.

“The queen is going to miss him, they were best friends. I feel for her,” she said.

Ieuan Jones, 37, travelled to the town from his home in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, and called Philip “a strong man, a true hero (who) did so much for this country and the royal family.”

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