MPs praise 'best of British' as West Midlands falls silent for Prince Philip

MPs from across the region have praised the "best of British" after the Black Country and Staffordshire joined the country in falling silent and honouring the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, is carried into St George's Chapel
The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, is carried into St George's Chapel

As members of the royal family observed a minute's silence at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, members of the public across the West Midlands did the same.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a gunshot to signal the start of the silence at Windsor, with the pall bearers carrying Philip's coffin and members of the royal family following it pausing in their positions, while those already inside the chapel also fell silent.

The West Midlands Police Honour Guard paid tribute holding a ceremony outside the force's Tally Ho training base in Edgbaston and joining the silence.

Meanwhile outside Windsor Castle and the nearby Long Walk, hundreds of mourners who had lined the streets clutching Union flags and flowers fell quiet before the funeral service took place.

Labour and Conservative MPs from across the region said the service, many parts of which had specifically been requested by the Duke, was a fitting tribute.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said the afternoon was a great example of how the country conducts itself.

He said: "As ever, the whole ceremony was performed with great dignity and only in the way the British can carry these things out.

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"But all our hearts must have gone out to her majesty the Queen, sitting alone in her grief.

"Like so many and like some friends of mine who has recently lost a loved one, what makes these tragedies even worse is by limiting the numbers who can participate.

"I think the Duke would be proud of the way the service was executed today."

A purpose built Land Rover that Prince Philip helped design carried the coffin along the route

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said it was sad to see the Queen sitting alone, as one of only 30 guests allowed in the chapel due to coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Longhi said: "I guess the funeral went according to how Prince Phillip would have wanted it to go, so that and supporting the Queen are the two most important things to me to mark his passing.

"I hope the Queen can take comfort in knowing that the whole country is behind her, although I know she must feel dreadful right now, having lost her partner of 73 years.

"I thought today was a wonderful tribute to him and it really shows the royal family for the asset they are, even in these tragic circumstances."

The Queen arrived by car while her relatives walked in the procession

Walsall North MP Valerie Vaz said the occasion was poignant and moving.

She said: "It did the Duke of Edinburgh justice in remembering his very full life and I can imagine that seeing the Queen sat with her head bowed, everyone's heart who was watching would have gone out to her.

"I do think it was a fitting tribute to him and I know he planned his own funeral, so people tried to fulfil his wishes as much as possible, certainly as far as the service was concerned.

"He would have known what was coming, but it was a really fitting tribute to him and really well planned."

Royal Marine pall bearers carried the coffin into the chapel
Only 30 guests were inside the chapel

Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden said the funeral marked an important moment for the country.

He added: "Because of the tremendous longevity of Prince Phillip's service, you would have had to be almost 80 years old to remember a time when he and the Queen were not at the pinnacle of the monarchy.

"All the commentary suggests he planned the funeral himself, with lots of personal touches, right down to the Land Rover, which I thought was a very fitting and personal tribute.

"There was obvious sadness in seeing the Queen sat alone, but I think there was a real dignity to the service and the whole family being there."

A ceremony was held at the Guru Ka Niwas Sikh Temple in Wolverhampton

And Warley MP John Spellar agreed that the funeral was conducted brilliantly.

He said: "It showed the best of British and was a fitting tribute to the Duke, particularly in the circumstances of Covid.

"I feel for the Queen as it was a massive loss for her after so many decades of support and companionship from the Duke."

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