THE Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest this weekend after his death at the age of 99.
Plans for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral have been modified due to current Covid-19 restrictions, but the ceremonial aspects of the day and the service are still in line with Philip’s wishes, Buckingham Palace has said.
Details of the duke’s funeral were released by Buckingham Palace last Thursday, with further details being released yesterday.
Where is it taking place?
At St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, at 3pm on Saturday, April 17.
The ceremonial elements will begin an hour earlier, including a procession which steps off at 2.45pm, followed by the arrival of a bespoke Land Rover hearse designed by the duke himself, carrying the coffin and a national minute’s silence.
The entirety of the funeral will be shown on television.
What has changed?
There will be no public attendance at the funeral. It will be taking place in the grounds of the castle only.
The public are also being asked not to gather at the castle or other royal residences.
A reduced choir of four singers will sing pieces of music chosen by Philip, but guests will be following Covid rules and not singing along.
What about the guest list?
Just 30 people will attend, instead of 800 as originally planned.
This includes all Philip’s grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, and three of Philip’s German relatives: Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden; Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Also invited is a close friend of Philip’s, the Countess of Mountbatten of Burma, Penelope ‘Penny’ Knatchbull, who was previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne and was the duke’s carriage driving partner.
No members of the royal family will be in military uniform – the men will wear morning coats and their medals while the woman will appear in day dresses.
Will both William and Harry be attending?
The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will not walk shoulder to shoulder when they join senior royals taking part in the funeral procession.
William and Harry will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips as they walk in a line behind their grandfather’s coffin.
The future king will also be one step ahead of his brother when the coffin is taken into St George’s Chapel, moving ahead of Harry as the royal family, including the Prince of Wales, go forward in pairs.
The procession will last eight minutes.
Will those attending be wearing face masks?
Yes. The congregation will wear face masks for the service.
Members of the royal family who have walked in the procession will put their facemasks on before entering the chapel. The Queen will wear a face mask during her car journey to the chapel, as will other guests who have not walked in the procession.
What about military involvement?
Action Stations, sounded on naval warships to signal all hands must go to battle stations, will be played at the funeral at Philip’s specific request.
Buglers of the Royal Marines will perform the wartime alert, a tradition sometimes associated with naval funerals, in honour of Philip’s active service in the Royal Navy during the second world war.
The Last Post will be played to signify ‘a soldier has gone to his final rest.’