Announcements about The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral have been shared: the farewell service for the Prince Consort will take place next Saturday, 17th April at 3pm in St George’s Chapel.
The funeral, in line with government regulations, will be attended by 30 members of the Royal Family, a group that is to include The Duke of Sussex.
Buckingham Palace said Prince Harry is planning to travel to the UK to attend, but the Duchess, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child due in the summer, has been advised by her doctor not to fly from California.
There will be a period of national mourning until the funeral, and the Royals will observe two weeks of official mourning themselves: no official engagements until mourning is over.
A minute’s silence will begin the service, which will be televised across the globe. Mourners are also being encouraged to stay home and not gather at Windsor, or other royal residences. A spokesperson said there will be no public access and ‘ the entire funeral will take place within the grounds of Windsor Castle,’ making TV the best place to see the event.
Similar to The Queen Mother’s 2002 funeral, this will be a ‘ceremonial royal funeral’ and not a state event. It has understood that Prince Philip wanted no fuss to be made after his death.
Philip’s body will be taken from the private chapel within the castle to St George’s in a Land Rover designed by the Duke himself for this particular event.
He will not lie in state as is usually the case for consorts (the last three royal consorts have lain in state – The Queen Mother, Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra. “He doesn’t see himself as important enough for that,” an aide once said when asked the Duke’s opinions on lying in state, The Times reports.
Pallbearers for Prince Philip’s coffin will include the Duke’s private secretary, one of his protection officers, two of his pages and two of valets.
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The Queen Mother lying in state in 2002; her four grandsons stood at the catafalque for a time
It is expected that masks will be worn inside the chapel by attendees, and households will be distanced from one another. A list of those attending is due to be released next week.
His body will be interred in the royal vault of St George’s after the ceremony, along with his standard, Royal Navy cap and ceremonial sword.
Buckingham Palace will release full details of the funeral party and of the service on Thursday, when it is understood there will be a dress rehearsal of the funeral.
A palace spokesman said: “While this is naturally a time of sadness and mourning for the royal family and those who knew The Duke of Edinburgh, it is hoped that the coming days are a time to celebrate a remarkable life, both in terms of his vast contribution and his lasting legacy.
“He was a decorated veteran of the Second World War, [had a] love and passion for science, engineering, design and art, his devotion to the military, his support for the Commonwealth, his support for the Outbound Trust, the World Wildlife Fund and the Duke of Edinburgh’s award.”
The plans have been signed off by The Queen, are in line with Philip’s wishes.