World's royal families turn out in force to remember Prince Philip

World’s royal families turn out in force to remember Prince Philip: Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands lead arrivals as monarchs from Belgium, Spain and Greece arrive

  • Royal families from around the world have united to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh in London today 
  • Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are among those who have made the journey
  • Crown Prince of Bahrain, a Jordanian prince, and Prince Albert of Monaco are also in attendance

Royal families from around the world have united to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh at his service of thanksgiving. 

Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are among those who have made the journey to Westminster Abbey.  

Born to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, Prince Philip had ties to many of the European monarchies which were only strengthened when he married the then Princess Elizabeth. 

His maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria of Hesse, was granddaughter of Queen Victoria, dubbed ‘Europe’s grandmother’ because of her sprawling web of nine children and 42 grandchildren marring into other European families. 

Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands led the royal arrivals at the service of thanksgiving


King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain (left) and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium

Queen Letizia of the Spain looked elegant in an emerald green coat dress and matching hat as she arrived alongside her husband for the service

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark attends the memorial service for the Duke Of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey, looking elegant in a grey pinstripe coat 

The Spanish queen put her best foot forward in the emerald green coat on her arrival at Westminster Abbey

The visiting royals took their seats in Westminster Abbey, including the Belgian royals (seated left) and the King and Queen of the Netherlands (right), with Princess Beatrix

It is through Queen Victoria that both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are related to the thrones of Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark. 

There are also familial links to the King of Spain, who touchingly referred to the Duke of Edinburgh as ‘dear uncle Philip’ in a statement shared after his death. 

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium pictured arriving at Westminster Abbey this morning

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands arrived with Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander

Prince Albert of Monaco and representatives from the defunct Romanian and Bulgarian throne are also in attendance. 

From further afield there is Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan, who are old friends of the Queen, and, perhaps most controversially, the Crown Prince of Bahrain.  

Queen Letizia of the Spain looked elegant in an emerald green coat dress and matching hat as she arrived alongside her husband for the service. 

Queen Mathilde of Belgium looked sombre in a black coat dress with a black hat and veil.  

 

A who’s who of the royals who have turned out to pay their respects to Prince Philip: From the Spanish King who called him ‘dear uncle Philip’ to his Greek prince godson

SPAIN: King Felipe and Queen Letizia

Affectionate: King Felipe of Spain, a distant relative of both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, will attend with his wife Letizia (pictured). The King referred to the Queen and Prince Philip as ‘dear aunt Lilibet’ and ‘dear uncle Philip’ in a note sent after his death last year 

Fond memories: King Felipe and Queen Letizia with the Queen and Prince Philip in 2017

Game of thrones! How Queen Victoria sat at the centre of a spider’s web of European royal connections 

With nine children of her own and 42 grandchildren, Queen Victoria sat at the centre of a spider’s web of royal connections across Europe.

Her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had dreamt of a Europe held together by family connections, and Victoria was determined to carry out his wishes.

They married their offspring into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the nickname ‘the grandmother of Europe’.

Eight of their children married into royal houses, starting with Vicky, who wed the Crown Prince of Prussia. 

King Felipe VI of Spain, 54, will be joined at the service by Queen Leizia, 49, a former journalist. 

Felipe, who ascended the throne in 2014 upon the abdication of his father King Juan Carlos, referred to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as ‘dear aunt Lilibet’ and ‘dear uncle Philip’ in a deeply personal message sent in the days after Prince Philip’s death.

The note sent to the Queen read: ‘We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear Uncle Philip.

‘We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him and the legacy of service and dedication to the Crown and the United Kingdom by your side.’

The familiarity between the British and Spanish royal households is due to centuries-old family ties. 

Felipe’s maternal great-grandfather, King Constantine I of Greece (1868 – 1923), was the older brother of Prince Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.

Meanwhile Felipe’s father, Juan Carlos of Spain, is the great-grandson of Queen Victoria’s youngest child, Princess Beatrice, making him a distant cousin of the Queen.

Princess Beatrice’s daughter Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg went on to become Queen Ena of Spain. 

King Felipe and Queen Letizia were honoured at a State Visit to the UK in 2017. 

NETHERLANDS: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima; Princess Beatrix 


Family visit: Representing the Netherlands will be King Willem-Alexander, 54, and his wife Queen Máxima, 50. His mother Princess Beatrix (right) will also be in attendance 

Personal sorrow: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands paid tribute to Prince Philip’s ‘lively personality’ in a heartfelt tribute. Above, with the Queen and Prince Philip in 2015

Representing the Netherlands will be King Willem-Alexander, 54, and his wife Queen Máxima, 50. 

He ascended the throne in 2013 following the abdication of his mother, Princess Beatrix, 84, who will also be in attendance. 

The Queen and King Willem-Alexander are fifth cousins, twice removed. They are both related to Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau (1743-1787), granddaughter of King George II. 

Her parents were King George’s daughter Anne, Princess Royal, and the Dutch Prince William VI.    

Their grandson was Francis of Teck, later Duke of Teck, who married Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge. Mary Adelaide was the mother of Mary of Teck, who married King George V, the current Queen’s grandfather.

King Willem-Alexander is a descendant of Carolina’s through her eldest surviving son, Frederick William. 

The Queen and the Dutch King are also both descendants of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg. 

SWEDEN: King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia

Family ties: King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Sonja of Sweden will both attend the service. The Swedish king’s lineage traces back to Victoria on both his mother and father’s sides

Shared experiences: Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (left, alongside Queen Elizabeth, Queen Silvia, and Prince Philip in 1983) also paid tribute, calling the duke ‘a good friend of our family’

The Queen’s third cousin King Carl XVI Gustaf, 75, and his wife Queen Silvia, 78, will will be among the congregation. 

The link between the British and Swedish monarchs goes back to Queen Victoria, the Queen’s great-great grandmother (through her father, King George VI) and King Carl XVI Gustaf’s great-great grandmother.  

The Swedish king’s lineage traces back to Victoria on both his mother and father’s sides, making him a distant claimant to the throne.

His paternal grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, was married to Princess Margaret, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter through her son Prince Albert. 

Another of Victoria’s sons, Prince Leopold, had two children with Princess Helena Friederike of Waldeck and Pyrmont, including Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and King Carl XVI Gustaf’s maternal grandfather. 

In a statement released after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, King Carl XVI said: ‘Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. 

‘His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all.’ 

BELGIUM: King Philippe and Queen Mathilde  

‘Deeply saddened’: King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium will also make the journey

King Philippe of Belgium, 61, who is related to the Queen through Queen Victoria, will attend the service with his wife Queen Mathilde, 49.

The Queen and Philippe are also both descendants of Christian IX of Denmark, whose six children married into other royal families across Europe, earning him the title ‘father-in-law of Europe’. 

In a joint statement shared after the death of Prince Philip, the couple said: ‘Deeply saddened by the passing away of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. 

‘We wish to express our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the British Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom. 

‘We will always cherish the memories of our warm encounters.’ ⁣ 

DENMARK: Queen Margrethe II 

Close friend: Queen Margrethe of Denmark has a close relationship with the Queen

Royal visitor: Queen Margrethe and her daughter-in-law Crown Princess Mary recently welcomed the Duchess of Cambridge on her solo visit to Copenhagen

The Duke of Edinburgh was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, so it is no surprise both royal families will be represented at the order of service. 

Flying the flag for Denmark will be Queen Margrethe, who is known affectionately as ‘aunt Daisy’ by many European royals due to her close relationship with 

The 81-year-old monarch will fly solo at the Service of Thanksgiving, although she is often joined at royal events by her son Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and daughter-in-law Princess Mary. 

Queen Margrethe and Crown Princess Mary recently welcomed the Duchess of Cambridge on her solo visit to Copenhagen.  

Queen Margrethe II enjoys a close personal relationship with the Queen and was related to the Duke of Edinburgh through King Christian IX of Denmark.   

King Christian IX – dubbed the ‘father-in-law of Europe’ due to his far-reaching progeny – was the great-great-grandfather of Queen Margrethe and the great-grandfather of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Danish queen is also related to Queen Elizabeth through Queen Victoria. 

Margrethe lost her husband Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, in 2018. 

GREECE: Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes; Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal; Prince Philippos and Princess Nina of Greece

Greek royalty: Among the Duke of Edinburgh’s Greek relatives in attendance will be Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, the last Queen of Greece and wife of King Constantine II. Pictured, Anne-Marie with her husband in 2012

Personal connection: Prince Charles’s godson Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece will attend with his wife Marie-Chantal (left). Above, with their daughter Olympia at Eugenie’s wedding

The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Diana were both godparents to his younger brother, Prince Philippos, who married wife Nina in a wedding attended by Eugenie and Beatrice

Among the Duke of Edinburgh’s Greek relatives in attendance will be Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, the last Queen of Greece and wife of King Constantine II, her children, Crown Prince Pavlos and Prince Philippos, and their respective wives. 

Queen Anne-Marie is the daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and his wife Ingrid of Sweden, and the younger sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. She had to renounce her claim to the Danish throne on marrying Constantine II.

Queen Anne-Marie is a great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, making her a third cousin of both Prince Philip and the Queen. 

King Constantine II was a first cousin once removed of Prince Philip; both were descended from King George I of Greece.

Their children also have ties to the royal family. Prince Pavlos is Prince Charles’s godson, while the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Diana were both godparents to his younger brother, Prince Philippos. 

Pavlos and Philippos will be joined at the service by their wives. Pavlos’ wife Marie-Chantal is a queen bee socialite who’s friends with Zoe de Givenchy, Tory Burch and the Italian fashion designer Valentino. 

Meanwhile Philippos married wife Nina in three separate ceremonies in 2020 and 2021. Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and their husbands were all in attendance. 

MONACO: Prince Albert   

Solo visit: Prince Albert of Monaco, 64, will attend without his wife Princess Charlene

Prince Albert of Monaco, 64, will attend without his wife Princess Charlene. 

Princess Charlene recently returned to Monaco following an extended stay away due to health problems, including what the palace has previously referred to as a ‘state of profound general fatigue’.  

The mother-of-two was reportedly admitted to a private Swiss clinic in late November, within days of her return to Monaco following a 10-month absence in her native South Africa

However Princess Charlene remains out of the spotlight and will have a period of rest and recuperation at home before resuming her official duties. 

Prince Albert is the only son of Rainier III of Monaco and his Hollywood wife Princess Grace Kelly.

His wedding to Charlene was attended by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

LUXEMBOURG: Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess

Flying in his stead: Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, will be represented at the service by his wife, the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa

Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, will be represented at the service by his wife, the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa. 

The Queen and Henri are related through Carolina of Orange-Nassau, an ancestor of the Queen’s grandmother Mary of Teck. 

Henri is also a descendant of Carolina through her eldest surviving son Frederick William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg whose marriage to heiress Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg produced William, Duke of Nassau. 

His eldest son Adolphe, in turn, became the first independent Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

On the death of Prince Philip, Henri released a lengthy statement, saying: ‘Prince Philip brought the same discipline and intelligence to his activities as Prince Consort and will be fondly and respectfully remembered for his strong support and dedication to Your Majesty, Your family and the United Kingdom.

‘Personally, we hold many great memories of our meetings over the past decades. Not only his earnest commitment to social and environmental causes, but also his wit and humour impressed us deeply.

‘The friendship that Your Majesty and His Royal Highness shared with my late parents still holds a special meaning for my family.’ 

ROMANIA: Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown and Prince Radu of Romania

Building relationships: Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown and Prince Radu of Romania

Prince Philip’s goddaughter Margareta is the Custodian of the Romanian Crown, making her head of a defunct monarchy. The throne is not recognised by the Romanian parliament and lacks legal validity without approval by the country’s Parliament. 

Her father, King Michael of Romania, was Philip’s cousin. British-educated, she was the lover for five years of future Labour PM Gordon Brown. She later went back to Romania and married actor Radu Duda, the son of a professor. 

Although Margareta has no official role within the politics of Romania to maintain ties with other countries, she has fostered diplomatic relationships with numerous foreign dignitaries in her capacity as a head of the House of Romania.

During these visits she is often accompanied by her husband Prince Radu, who is a special Romanian Government representative for Integration, Co-operation and Sustainable Development.

Margareta is the Royal Patron of The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Romania.

In November 2021 she spent time with Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex at the couple’s home at Bagshot Park.    

BAHRAIN: Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa

Controversial: Crown Prince of Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, 52

Royal visit: The Crown Prince during a royal engagement with William and Kate in 2018

Among the most controversial guests will be Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, 52, the Crown Prince of Bahrain.

His grandfather, the late Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and his wife, Hessa bint Salman Al Khalifa, spent time with the Queen and Prince Philip during their highly publicised tour of the Middle East in 1979.

The relationship has continued over the decades with both Salman and his father, King Hamad, being seen with Queen in the Royal Box at Ascot. 

They have both hosted visits from both the Prince of Wales and Prince Andrew in the past. 

However the relationship has also been the subject of widespread public criticism. 

Just days before the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, the Crown Prince’s staff told the Palace that he was withdrawing his acceptance of an invitation.

The 11th-hour change of heart spared the couple potential embarrassment as human rights activists had threatened to disrupt Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s stay in London, insisting he was the chief architect of the crackdown on the Arab Spring uprising.

The couple had invited the Prince as part of a long-standing protocol in inviting the ‘Crowned Heads of the World’ and their staff had sought Foreign Office advice.

The Queen also raised eyebrows when she invited the King of Bahrain to attend her 90th birthday celebrations. 

JORDAN: Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath El Hassan 

Friends of the Queen: Old Harrovian Prince Hassan of Jordan, 75, the uncle of the reigning King Abdullah II, and his wife Princess Sarvath, 74, will be in attendance

Old Harrovian Prince Hassan of Jordan, 75, the uncle of the reigning King Abdullah II, and his wife Princess Sarvath, 74, are friends of the Queen. 

She has spent weekends with them in Wimbledon, where the prince has a house 

His large detached house is not far from Wimbledon Common and its bridle paths, so that guests can hear the clip-clopping of ponies from a nearby riding school.    

The Princess has been a guest of the Royal Family at Ascot and was given the honour of riding in a carriage with Princess Anne. 

SERBIA: Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine 

Prince Charles’s close friend: Crown Prince Alexander, 76, will arrive for the service with his wife, Crown Princess Katherine, 78

Prince Charles’s close friend Crown Prince Alexander, 76, will arrive for the service with his wife, Crown Princess Katherine, 78.  

Alexander was born in exile at London’s Claridge’s hotel, temporarily declared Yugoslavia for a day in 1945 to get around succession laws requiring future kings to be born on home territory.  

He is the only child of King Peter II and his wife, Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, who was a childhood playmate of her cousin the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Born and raised in the UK, he is a godson of the Queen and through his father a direct descendent of Queen Victoria. 

He is known for his support of the monarchy and his humanitarian work.    

Prince Kyril of Preslav

Distant relative: Kyril is the second son of King Simeon II, also known as Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a fourth cousin of George VI

Born in 1964, Kyril is the second son of King Simeon II, also known as Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who had served as the last reigning Tsar of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1946, before later serving as Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005.

Simeon is a fourth cousin of the Queen’s father, George VI, and attended the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In September 1989, Kyril married María del Rosario Nadal y Fuster de Puigdorfila, also known as Rosario Nadal, the daughter of Miguel Nadal y Pestard, a Balearic Islands industrialist.   

Kyril is now dating British businesswoman and art historian Katharine Butler, a former University of Edinburgh professor and daughter of British diplomat Sir Michael Butler.

And missing out… King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway

Norwegian King Harald V, 85, and his wife Queen Sonja, 84, had been due to represent their country at the Service of Thanksgiving but cancelled their attendance yesterday after King Harald tested positive for Covid-19

Norway’s King Harald (pictured greeting Philip with his wife Queen Sonja in 2001) said: ‘Our thoughts are with Queen Elizabeth’ when they learned of Philip’s death

Norwegian King Harald V, 85, and his wife Queen Sonja, 84, had been due to represent their country at the Service of Thanksgiving but cancelled their attendance yesterday after King Harald tested positive for Covid-19.

Harald is a second cousin of the Queen and the first foreign monarch in succession to the British throne, as they both share King Edward VII (1841 – 1910) and Queen Alexandra (1844 – 1925) as great-grandparents. 

The couple had six children, one of whom, their daughter Maud, married into the Danish Prince Carl. 

When Norway became independent in 1905, it wanted to establish a monarchy and asked Prince Carl to be king. He took the name Haakon, and Maud became Queen of Norway. 

King Haakon and Queen Maud lived mainly in England before coming to Norway. The Queen also retained her British home at Appleton House until she died in 1938.

Their son, Crown Prince Olav, also had strong ties to Britain. He is the father of King Harald V. 

The service will gave thanks for the duke’s dedication to family, nation and Commonwealth and recognise his legacy in creating opportunities for young people, promoting conservation and supporting the Armed Forces

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