Aussie reveals most moving moment at Philip’s funeral

 

Prince Philip's deep devotion to the Commonwealth has laid the foundations for continuing close links between Australia and Britain.

The Duke of Edinburgh requested Australia have a representative at his funeral.

Commodore Guy Holthouse, head of Australian Defence Staff in London, had that honour of paying his respects in person at Windsor Castle.

He was part of a socially distanced salute to the Duke in the horseshoe cloister near the steps of St George's Chapel.

The moving moment, was acknowledged with a nationwide minute's silence that even stopped the aircraft at nearby Heathrow Airport.

 

Commodore Guy Holthouse, head of Australian Defence Staff in London, was part of the service for Prince Philip. Picture: Tristan Potter SWNS
Commodore Guy Holthouse, head of Australian Defence Staff in London, was part of the service for Prince Philip. Picture: Tristan Potter SWNS

 

"I think the only words one can use are very honoured and very humbled to be part of such an occasion in a very small way to represent the defence forces, to represent Australia in a funeral and a send off for a man that dedicated his entire life to his own country was really quite something," Commodore Holthouse said.

It was fitting that Commodore Holthouse, a member of the Royal Australian Navy, was part of the service for Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh saw action in the Royal Navy in the Second World War - which was a feature of his funeral.

His naval sword and cap were on the English Oak coffin that was draped in his personal standard.

 

"The fact that his cap and his sword were on his coffin tells you how important it was to him," Commodore Holthouse said.

"He was the Commander in chief of all the Australian defence forces, he had a very strong relationship with us as he did with those other three nations.

"He was a military officer first and foremost and he's spent his entire life in service to his country."

Representatives from New Zealand, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, were also invited to the funeral.

Prince Philip spent time in Australia during World War Two on the HMS Ramillies.

That ship was tasked with protecting Australian ships in the Indian Ocean.

Commodore Holthouse said that he was proud to also represent the Royal Australian Navy at the weekend's service.

"We're the same, he was in the Navy, I'm in the Navy - his relationship with the Australia defence forces dates back to 1940," he said.

He added that Prince Philip was a key driver of maintaining links in the Commonwealth.

"While not the head of the Commonwealth he was the consort to the head of the Commonwealth so it is very important to Her Majesty, it was very important to him

I think it is and remains important," he said.

Originally published as Aussie reveals most moving moment at Philip's funeral



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