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Moments after Prince Philip’s casket is lowered into a stone vault in the floor of George’s Chapel on Saturday morning, a palace muckety-muck will recite aloud the many, many titles of the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
And he’d better take a deep breath before doing so.
“Thus it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto his divine mercy the late most Illustrious and most Exalted Prince Philip,” will begin the recitation by Thomas Woodcock.
He’s a member of the royal household and its senior genealogist, a title that comes with a rather snappy looking, lion-crested brocade jacket and fat gold chain.
After saying the words “Exalted Prince Philip,” Woodcock will then state the late prince’s many AKAs, as revealed Friday by the Daily Mail.
“Duke of Edinbugh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwhich, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order upon whom had been conferred the royal Victorian Chain, Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire…”
At that point, Woodcock, perhaps breathing a bit heavily in his brocade jacket, will still be not quite half finished.
“Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdome, One of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshall in the Army and Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Husband of …”
Here Woodcock will veer off into a recitation of the queen’s titles.
“Husband of Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God under the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, whom may God preserve and bless with long life, health and honour and all worldly happiness.”
Due to strict social distancing rules, only 30 select royal family members will be allowed in St. George’s Chapel to witness the service, interment and long recitation of titles — but it will be broadcast live by CBS.
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