BRITAIN showed its respect and admiration for Prince Philip in many ways yesterday.
Sporting stars held a two-minute silence, guns thundered in salute across our major cities and thousands laid flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
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The huge array of tributes across the land demonstrated the deep affection in which he was justifiably held.
For seven decades, Philip was an indispensable linchpin that held the Royal Family together.
But yesterday’s national outpouring will soon be followed by the smallest, and strangest, funeral for a royal of such stature.
Sadly, the Duke of Edinburgh will be denied the massive turnout he would undoubtedly have received and so richly deserves.
In line with Covid safety rules, only 30 mourners will be allowed into St George’s Chapel to bid him farewell next Saturday.
They will also be required to wear masks during the service.
Even the Prime Minister has decided to give up his seat so that another family member or somebody close to the Duke can attend.
But the low-key send-off will by no means diminish the nation’s sorrow at a loss which has left the Queen on her own for the first time in 74 years.
Younger members of the Royal Family must take this sad event as a cue to accept more responsibility for the family.
Philip was a bonding influence in life and could prove so in death if his funeral became a moment of reconciliation with Prince Harry.
The values that inspired the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme are needed more than ever in these troubled times.
What a legacy it would be if his ideals and sense of duty were instilled in the next generation at the very time they need it most.
New Zeal-and deal
DOOM-LADEN predictions that Brexit Britain would never strike new trade deals have been well and truly rubbished.
Scaremongers confidently asserted that such agreements would take decades.
But now we are on the brink of a lucrative deal with New Zealand.
Moreover, fellow Commonwealth country Australia is not far behind.
With Japan already in the bag, these could pave the way for multi-billion pound, dynamic partnerships across Asia and the Pacific.
By moving into this region, the UK will be plugged into some of the world’s fastest expanding economies.
Yet another example of nimble Britain moving more quickly than the bureaucratic EU.
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