The royal family is in mourning over the death of Prince Philip, who has passed away at the age of 99.
As people digest the news of his passing, attention is slowly turning to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral arrangements.
When is Prince Philip’s funeral?
The College of Arms, responsible for state ceremonies, has issued guidance on what to expect for the Duke’s funeral arrangements.
It said the funeral will not be a state funeral and the consort’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. “This is in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes,” said the statement.
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It said the arrangements have been revised in view of the COVID-19 pandemic “and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral.”
All official flags — including the Union Flag, national flags of the home nations, ensigns and ships’ colours — will be flown at half-mast from now until 8am on the day after the funeral.
Buckingham Palace said on Friday night that “Further announcements will made in due course”.
Why won’t Prince Philip have a state funeral?
As the consort of the Queen, Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral.
But, in keeping with the Duke’s no-fuss public image, it is believed that he asked not to be given a full state funeral.
It is thought that he has requested what will fundamentally be a military funeral, with a private service held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and burial in Frogmore Gardens on the grounds of Windsor Castle, west of London.
Had the Duke of Edinburgh requested a state funeral, it would have likely involved a military procession to Westminster Abbey where his body would lie in state for members of the public to pay their respects. A service at either Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral would have followed, before burial in St. George’s Chapel.
The last state funeral for a member of the royal family took place in 1952 following the death of King George VI. The Queen’s father was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel.
What are the funeral details?
Despite the arrangements originally being decided decades in advance, the funeral details will now be changed in accordance with how the UK is handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Buckingham Palace regularly review these plans – known as Operation Forth Bridge – and the Queen and Prince Philip have been advised on them throughout the COVID outbreak, in case one of them dies.
Organisers are keen to keep the funeral procession to a minimum to avoid attracting large gatherings and the public has been asked not to try to attend.
Meanwhile, with funerals currently limited to 30 people, the Queen may have decide who will be allowed to attend.
Family members – along with the monarch herself – could be forced to wear face coverings and socially distance with their own households.
A military presence is expected to honour the Duke of Edinburgh, while TV cameras will not be allowed inside the chapel for the service.
However, the day itself will receive extensive TV coverage both in the UK and around the world.
This story first appeared in The Sun and is reproduced with permission.