Prince Philip’s funeral took place on Saturday 17 April at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, marking the end of the official period of national mourning following his death on 9 April.
The event was scaled back due to coronavirus restrictions, but some elements of the funeral that the Duke of Edinburgh had planned himself long before his death were able to remain in place.
One such detail was the inclusion of a photographer who was hidden at the entrance of the chapel inside a fake church pillar.
At the top of the West Steps, where Prince Philip’s coffin entered the chapel, 80-year-old photographer Arthur Edwards was able to “see the family’s pain up close” without intruding or being noticed.
Edwards has been photographing the royal family for 44 years and revealed how the duke had wanted him to be there.
Writing in The Sun, the photographer said: “The Duke, who planned every moment of [his] moving funeral service, had arranged for me as a photographer to hide inside a fake pillar at the top of the stairs leading to St George’s Chapel.”
He described being inside the fake church pillar and photographing the moment through a “letter box-shaped” hole as “like the bird-watching hides” Prince Philip would spend hours bird-watching from at Sandringham.
He continued: “From the most unusual vantage point of my 44 years of photographing the royals, I was close enough to see Prince Charles – the man I have known for more than half his life – look broken.”
When entering the chapel ahead of the funeral service for their grandfather, Edwards said Prince Harry and Prince William “never glanced at each other” as they followed the coffin into the nave.
Hidden in plain sight at the funeral watched by millions around the world, Edwards was “just two yards away from the raw emotion of the Royal Family as they said farewell to the Duke of Edinburgh.”
The funeral was only permitted to have 30 guests inside the chapel due to coronavirus restrictions – and the Queen sat alone away from other households.