A touching photograph of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh that gives a glimpse of their lives away from protocol and ceremony has been released on the eve of Philip’s funeral.
The royal couple are pictured as they are rarely seen – relaxing together during a summer break and enjoying the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands on the Balmoral estate.
Looking completely at ease and smiling warmly at the photographer, Philip and the Queen relax on the grass at the Coyles of Muick, a beauty spot near the town of Ballater in Aberdeenshire.
Beaming at the Countess of Wessex – who took the picture in 2003 – the Queen, dressed in a tartan skirt, blouse and cardigan and a string of pearls, also sits on a rug.
After 73 years of marriage, the Queen will say farewell to Philip during a televised funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, attended by a small group of close family and friends.
But Philip’s children and grandchildren have been paying tribute to his life and legacy and welcoming the support and warm words from the public who have left flowers and cards.
Philip’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen and “courage, fortitude and faith” will be hailed at his funeral.
No sermon will be delivered during the ceremonial royal service, in keeping with Philip’s wishes.
The Dean of Windsor, in the Bidding, will pay tribute to Philip’s “kindness, humour and humanity”.
“With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us,” he will say of Philip, who died aged 99 last Friday.
“Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity.”
The Queen was photographed driving in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Friday and during the day was back at work receiving calls from General David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia, and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It is understood the calls were made by the national figures to convey their condolences to the Queen.
In the grounds of Windsor Castle, the Earl and Countess of Wessex viewed cards and flowers left by the public and appeared touched by the tributes to the duke.
She was also heard to suggest there would have been many more tributes if coronavirus restrictions had not been in place.
The couple, who were joined by their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, spent around 15 minutes looking at hundreds of flowers and wreaths outside St George’s Chapel.
The Prince of Wales and Princess Royal will lead the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and other family members walking behind the duke’s coffin, carried on a Land Rover hearse he helped design, during the funeral procession which the Queen will join, travelling by car.
Royal brothers the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, who have a troubled relationship, will not walk shoulder to shoulder but with their cousin Peter Phillips between them.
Philip’s love of carriage-driving will be a poignant feature of his funeral, with his carriage, which he designed, and ponies making an appearance.
The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage, accompanied by two of Philip’s grooms, will stand in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle as the duke’s coffin is carried past in the procession.
Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank have been invited.
Also attending will be the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, three of Philip’s German relatives and his close friend Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
Mr Tindall has paid tribute to the duke as a “devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love”.
The former England rugby player, who is married to the Queen and Philip’s granddaughter Zara Tindall, posted a picture from the royal family’s personal photo albums of the duke with the Tindalls’ eldest daughter Mia.
A half drunk pint of beer could be seen perched on the side.
Tindall wrote on Instagram: “It’s been a very sad week but it has given us time to reflect on great memories and stories both personal and shared.
“A devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love.”