IF Prince Philip was watching down over his moving memorial service at Westminster Abbey yesterday, we have a feeling he would largely have approved.
The relatively brisk ceremony whipped through hymns and speakers at a fair gallop, fitting for a man who appreciated brevity and military precision in such matters.
The mood was solemn rather than sombre, the immediate grief at the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing last April having given way to gratitude for his long life of dedication, his inquiring mind and sense of mischief.
Most notable among the tributes to his legacy was that from Doyin Sonibare, a Duke of Edinburgh Award holder, who told how Prince Philip’s scheme changed her life as a teenager, a story shared by thousands over the decades.
As for the Queen, left so isolated by coronavirus restrictions at her husband’s funeral nearly a year ago, we are relieved she was finally able to give him the grander send-off he deserved.
Despite mobility struggles, Her Majesty — weeks from turning 96 — was determined to be at the Abbey. As with Philip, her stoicism never ceases to amaze.
Even the potentially thorny issue of Prince Andrew’s attendance accompanying the Queen was not the distraction it might have been.
The service was, however, tinged by one note of regret — the absence of Prince Harry, who stayed away in the States after an unseemly strop over being asked to foot his own security bill.
We think it’s a decision Harry will come to regret in time, if not already.
After all, many other royals managed to fly in from abroad for the service without fuss, so why not him?
THERE was a time not that long ago when if you felt worried about your health, you could see your local GP that same day.
Now, it is often a wait of several weeks. By which time whatever was ailing you might have gone away . . . if you’re lucky.
Many have simply given up even trying to get an appointment, no doubt storing up problems for the future. And while Covid hasn’t helped, the problems predate the pandemic by a long chalk.
So it cannot come as any surprise that patients’ satisfaction rates with GPs have tumbled to their lowest ever.
Happiness with the NHS overall is similarly dismal but the answer cannot be ever-bigger taxpayer cheques.
Like that other state-funded monolith the BBC, the NHS has long since forgotten what it is there to do, and has spread its tentacles into all manner of areas that should not be its concern.
Why on earth, for example, are NHS trusts quizzing men on whether they are pregnant before cancer scans?
We don’t envy the many wonderful frontline staff who must be as frustrated as the patients and wondering where the hell it all went wrong.