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Prince Philip: Funeral to take place on Saturday and will be televised

Written by on 11 April 2021

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place next Saturday and will be televised to mark the duke’s “vast contribution and lasting legacy”.

Members of the public will not be allowed to attend as the proceedings have been scaled down due to the pandemic, but a national minute’s silence will be held at 3pm before the funeral begins at St George’s Chapel.

The proceedings will be kept within the confines of Windsor Castle and the Duke of Edinburgh’s body will be carried to the West Steps in a Land Rover, which was specially designed by Philip himself.

Prince Harry will be travelling from his home in the United States to attend, although his pregnant wife Meghan has been advised not to travel. It is understood she made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor.

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Flowers in front of a photograph of Britain's Prince Philip outside Windsor Castle Image: Flowers in front of a photograph of Britain’s Prince Philip outside Windsor Castle. Pic: AP

There is no confirmation yet on the rest of the guest list, although under government guidance only 30 people will be allowed to attend.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has approved a recommendation for a period of national mourning until next Saturday, according to a Palace source.

They also said the Royal Family will observe two weeks of royal mourning until 22 April, when they will continue engagements where appropriate and wear mourning bands.

It will not be a state funeral, which is usually reserved for the monarch, and is line with the duke’s own wishes.

He will also not lie In state and his body remains at rest within a private chapel in Windsor Castle.

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Having helped to draw up the details himself, the Duke of Edinburgh was said to have wanted little fuss at his funeral.

The arrangements, codenamed Forth Bridge after the Scottish landmark, have been in place for many years but have been adapted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Queen has had final approval of the updated plans, although the original plans were drawn up in consultation with the Duke of Edinburgh himself.

The arrangements will be fully in line with government guidance and guests will be adhering to social distancing rules.

No public processions will take place and the public is being urged not to turn up at the royal residences.

Although the Royal Family expressed its “sadness” at not being able to involve the public, it said people would be better off watching the televised proceedings rather than travelling to Windsor Castle.

A member of the public leaves flowers outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99. Picture date: Friday April 9, 2021. Image: A member of the public leaves flowers outside Buckingham Palace

Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker of Minsmere, the most senior official at the royal household, is overseeing the arrangements and will ensure everything is kept to a strict timetable.

Tasked with staging the practical side of the day is the Queen’s Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, while many others will be involved in the days ahead.

The proceedings were originally planned for 800 attendees in St George’s Chapel.

Here is how the proceedings will take place:

The coffin will be moved to the state entrance, accompanied by a bearer party and covered with a personal standard, naval cap, sword and wreath of flowers.

At 2.45pm, a procession led by the grenadier guards will set off. The route will be lined by military servicemen and guns will be fired.

It is thought the Prince of Wales and members of the Royal Family will follow behind on foot. This will take eight minutes.

At 2.53pm, the procession will arrive at the bottom of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel, where a Royal Navy piping party will be in position.

A bearing party from the Royal Marines will lift the coffin and proceed up the West Steps. The coffin will pause for the one-minute silence at 3pm.

At the top of the West Steps, the Archbishop of Windsor will accept the coffin.

Those in the procession will not enter the chapel, apart from family and the duke’s private secretary. The funeral service will begin as the coffin enters the chapel.

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