Why the Queen wore green to Prince Philip’s memorial service

Yesterday was Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey. It was attended by Her Majesty The Queen and other royal family members, foreign royal families, the Duke of Edinburgh’s wider family and friends and representatives from over 500 of the Duke’s patronages and charities.

Prince Philip memorial service
Getty Images

Since the Duke’s funeral last year occurred during the height of the pandemic, numbers were restricted and social distancing was firmly in place, leaving us with that sorrowful but stoic image of the Queen sitting by herself at her husband’s funeral service.

Hopefully, it will have been a huge comfort to her to be able to attend this Service of Thanksgiving. It paid tribute to Prince Philip’s ‘contribution to public life and steadfast support for the over 700 charitable organisations with which His Royal Highness was associated throughout his life,’ according to a post on the official @theroyalfamily Instagram account.

Queen Elizabeth II at Prince Philip memorial service
Getty Images

Particularly touching was the incorporation of certain elements that were planned for Prince Philip’s funeral last year, but couldn’t go ahead due to Covid restrictions. These included the attendance of Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold Award holders and representatives from the Cadet Force, who lined the route into the Abbey.

However, another element lots of royal fans picked up on was that many attendees, including the Queen, were not wearing black as would have been expected at a memorial service, but instead were dressed in outfits of dark forest green.

There was actually a very sentimental reason behind this sartorial choice. This specific shade of green, known as ‘Edinburgh Green’, was Prince Philip’s official livery colour. The Duke of Edinburgh’s love of this colour was well-known, and so to dress in it at the Prince Philip memorial service was a fitting tribute to the royal.

Royal family members including Princess Anne and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Princess Letizia of Spain also wore the forest green hue. Another significant part of the Queen’s outfit for the Prince Philip memorial service was her brooch, which the Duke of Edinburgh gifted to the Queen in 1966.