King Haakon VII and Crown Prince Olav of Norway, King George II of Greece, Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, King Peter II of Yugoslavia joined the extended British Royal Family for the Prince George, Duke of Kent at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on this day in 1942, following his death in a plane crash less than a month after the Christening of his younger son, Prince Michael of Kent, in Windsor. Prince George was initially laid in the vaults below St. George’s Chapel, before being transferred to the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore exactly 26 years later, on the eve of the Funeral of Princess Marina in 1968.
The Duchess of Kent entered the chapel with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke’s mother, Queen Mary. They were dressed in black and their faces were covered with heavy crepe veils. Queen Elizabeth helped the Duchess of Kent step up to her seat in the choir stalls. Behind the coffin came Admiral Halsey (representing the Duke of Windsor), King Haakon VIl of Norway, King George Il of Greece, King Peter II of Yugoslavia, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Olav of Norway, and other members of the British Royal Family. Also attending the funeral was Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
As the casket was lowered on to the purple-covered bier, the Duchess of Kent sank to her knees in prayer. Queen Elizabeth comforted her as she resumed her seat and The Very Rev. Albert Baillie, the Dean of Windsor, began the service. The Duchess of Kent wept and almost collapsed during the service and there were tears in the eyes of Duke of Kent’s brothers, King George VI and the Duke of Gloucester. After the service, King George VI, with tears in his eyes, moved forward and sprinkled earth upon the coffin as it slowly descended into the vaults below St. George’s Chapel.
There was a moving scene when the King of Arms recited the styles and titles of the Duke of Kent. The Duchess, still with tears in her eyes, rose to her feet. Members of the Royal Family began to weep, and then Queen Elizabeth, holding the Duchess by the arm, led her from the choir stalls. The Duchess looked down into the gaping space where her husband’s body had descended and stood several minutes with her lips moving in prayer. The King and the Duke of Gloucester stood nearby. Then Queen Elizabeth led the weeping Duchess from the chapel and King George VI took the arm of his mother, Queen Mary.