Prince Philip's funeral was bittersweet | Flick Drummond MP

More than 13 million people tuned in to watch the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:17 pm
Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat for the funeral service of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Those figures are testament to the great esteem this man was held in across the United Kingdom, but also the Commonwealth and in other countries.

The majority of people in this country cannot remember a time before the Queen’s reign and Prince Philip by her side, so it was a very strange occasion as well as a very sad one.

I watched it with my family and to see the Queen as dignified as ever, but alone at the funeral, was a bittersweet moment.

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Long may she reign. She has been a quite remarkable head of state. I’m sure the rest of the royal family will pull together to make sure she is well supported.

The latest easing of lockdown restrictions seems to have been met with real joy. From what I have seen in Meon Valley the vast majority of people understand and are keeping to the remaining restrictions as they know they need to do their bit to keep infections and deaths as low as possible.

The vaccine programme continues at pace too and with the focus at the moment of second doses.

The next big date is May 17 when the rule of six will be extended to indoor areas. This means groups of six – or larger if they are from two households – can meet in homes.

Outside, groups of 30 will be allowed outdoors. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to open indoors with table service. The rule of six will be in place inside but groups of 30 can be outside.

Again, we need to keep to these new rules when they come into force, so that the roadmap can continue. I hope everyone will go out safely and enjoy these freedoms and hopefully support local retailers and venues too.

Finally, local elections are coming up on the May 6. This year, in Meon Valley, there are district council, county council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Please make sure you vote next month. It will be Covid-secure to do so and it’s vitally important everyone does.