Queen Elizabeth to Honor Prince Philip in Service of Thanksgiving This Spring

The news comes after the reigning British monarch canceled her family's pre-Christmas lunch.

Queen Elizabeth II is moving forward with plans to honor her late husband, Prince Philip. The 95-year-old reigning British monarch has agreed to hold a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. The ceremony will take place in the spring of 2022 at Westminster Abbey, a year after Prince Phillip's death in April.

This event could be another opportunity for Philip's grandson, Prince Harry, to travel back to England and see his family in person. Philip's April funeral marked Harry's first time returning to the U.K. since stepping down from his royal duties. The celebration could also mark one of the queen's first public engagements in her Platinum Jubilee year, which is scheduled to be commemorated starting on June 2, 2022, with the annual Trooping the Colour parade. 

The Platinum Jubilee marks 70 years of service for the queen, who ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of 25. She remains the longest-reigning U.K. monarch. The Trooping the Colour event, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021, will include 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians. The parade takes the queen and members of the royal family down The Mall outside of Buckingham Palace in horse-drawn carriages. As in years past, there will be a RAF fly over and members of the royal family will greet the public from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. 

There will be several other events to mark the occasion including the Derby at Epsom Downs, the Platinum Party at the Palace, The Big Jubilee Lunch and The Platinum Jubilee Pageant, featuring 5,000 participants from across the U.K. and the Commonwealth.

The news of Prince Phillip's Service of Thanksgiving comes after the queen canceled her family's pre-Christmas lunch as a "precautionary" decision in light of the rising highly transmissible COVID-19 omicron variant. A palace source told ET that the queen made the decision with "regret," but added that "there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all concerned." They noted that the previously planned lunch could "put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead." 

Since that time, the queen's daughter, Princess Anne, has been forced to isolate after her husband, Timothy Laurence, tested positive for COVID

In recent months, Her Majesty has scaled back her engagements due to a variety of health reasons. Last month, she missed the annual Remembrance Service after spraining her back. In October, HRH spent the night in the hospital for tests and observation after being advised by doctors to rest for a few days. 

While she has since resumed some of her duties, many of them have been virtual and she has scaled back some of her scheduled appearances to maintain her health. It has been reported that the queen plans to spend her holidays at Windsor Castle with her immediate family for the second year in a row, instead of her traditional trip to Sandringham.