No eulogy or sermon: Details of Prince Philip’s funeral announced

Funeral at Windsor of queen’s husband restricted to 30 mourners

Flowers left as tributes outside St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle. Photograph:  Steve Parsons/Pool/Afp via Getty

Flowers left as tributes outside St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle. Photograph: Steve Parsons/Pool/Afp via Getty

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The Duke of Edinburgh’s “unwavering loyalty” to Queen Elizabeth and “courage, fortitude and faith” will be hailed at his funeral in Windsor Castle, outside London, on Saturday.

No sermon will be delivered during the service, in keeping with the wishes of Prince Philip, who died on Friday last week aged 99. His love of the sea and long association with the Royal Navy permeates the Order of Service, which was released by Buckingham Palace on Friday.

No members of the royal family will read lessons or give readings at the funeral, and there will be no eulogy. It is not common for eulogies to take place at British royal funerals or for family members to do readings.

The lack of sermon for the duke perhaps fits in with his desire to get things done in a speedy, efficient manner. His grandson, Prince Harry, said as he paid tribute earlier in the week: “I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh, do get on with it!”’

As final preparations were put in place at Windsor ahead of the proceedings, which begin at 3pm with a minute’s silence across the UK, members of the royal family viewed flowers left by the public and national leaders outside St George’s Chapel.

Among the tributes were wreaths bearing messages from British prime minister Boris Johnson, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Royal Navy. “In grateful memory of a man to whom the nation owes more than words can say,” Mr Johnson wrote.

Mr Johnson will watch the service on television and observe the minute’s silence from his country residence Chequers, in Buckinghamshire. He is not attending to allow for as many family members as possible to join the congregation – limited to 30 under Covid-19 restrictions.

These also mean the queen must sit alone and socially distanced, with all guests wearing face masks and sitting two metres apart from those not in their household. The songs will be performed by a choir of just three choristers and one soprano, with the congregation forbidden from singing.

Heathrow Airport said no planes will land or take off for six minutes to coincide with the minute’s silence. – PA