Buckingham Palace announces Prince Philip’s funeral details
British royal family to follow Covid guidelines while paying tribute to the late duke
Prince Philip during a tour of battlefields in the Crimea, Ukraine, in October 2004. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire
The British Duke of Edinburgh’s royal funeral will be like no other, with Queen Elizabeth and her family following guidelines and wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to pay tribute.
Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17th in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed in the UK as it begins at 3pm.
The duke’s coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by Charles, the Prince of Wales, and senior royals on foot, a senior palace official said.
The queen has approved the prime minister’s recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9th and runs until and including the day of the funeral.
Only 30 people – expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a palace spokesman said.
It is understood Meghan made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.
Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the UK’s longest serving consort, but the prince is known to have wanted a low key affair.
All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the palace said.
The queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.
Gun salutes have been fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute to the duke. – PA