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Prince Philip's funeral will take place at 3pm next Saturday and start with a national minute's silence after his coffin is taken to St George’s Chapel in modified Land Rover he helped design and Harry WILL be there but Meghan is told not to travel

    The Queen, 94, will only be able to invite 30 people to the ceremony plus the clergy at St George's Chapel
    There were going to be 800 mourners from across the Duke's military units, charities and the Commonwealth
    The final list, which is expected in the next few days, will likely be made up of senior members of Royal Family
    Prince Philip said that he wanted funeral with minimal fuss, but his passing was always going to be a big affair
    Meanwhile lorries were Saturday lunchtime seen hauling scaffolding into Windsor Castle for the preparations

By James Gant For Mailonline

Published: 17:05, 10 April 2021 | Updated: 17:20, 10 April 2021

The Duke of Edinburgh's final farewell will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family following guidelines and wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to pay tribute.  Buckingham Palace today announced that Philip's ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute's silence will be observed 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 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 9 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 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 nation's longest serving consort, but Philip 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.  Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge the codename for the duke's funeral plans were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.  Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.  The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family 'mourning his loss'.  The Earl and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour with the Queen at the castle on Saturday, with a tearful Sophie telling reporters as she left: 'The Queen has been amazing.'

The Duke of York also arrived at Windsor on Saturday, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday.  Gun salutes have been fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute to the duke.  On the day of the funeral, the duke's coffin, accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and the Lord Chamberlain, will be moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle by a Bearer Party of The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.  On the grass in the Castle's Quadrangle will be representative detachments drawn from Philip's military special relationships.  The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards. The Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which Philip was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the procession to St George's Chapel.  They will be followed by the Major General's Party, and then the Service Chiefs, reflecting His Royal Highness's close relationship with the military.   A Palace spokesman said: 'This event will be much reduced in scale with no public access. In line with Government guidelines and public health measures, there will be no public processions and the duke's funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle.  The plans have been given final approval by the Queen and reflect appropriately Government advice.  Despite these necessary changes, they still very much reflect the personal wishes of the duke.  Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognise the duke's life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth.'

The Royal Family still faces a dilemma over who to invite to Prince Philip's funeral due to the coronavirus restrictions in place across England.  The Queen will only be able to invite 30 people to the ceremony plus the clergy at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.  Originally there were going to be 800 mourners from across the Duke of Edinburgh's military units, charities and associates from across the Commonwealth.  The final list, which is expected in the next few days, will likely be made up of senior members of the Royal Family as well as the Prime Minister.  Prince Philip said he wanted a funeral with minimal fuss, but the passing of Britain's longest serving consort was always going to be a big affair and lorries were today seen hauling scaffolding into Windsor Castle for the preparations.  His hope for a 'royal ceremonial funeral' similar to the Queen Mother's rather than a full state funeral, had already been granted.  But the pandemic and restrictions means this has been hastily redrawn, with Her Majesty said to have been in talks with officials last night.  They tweaked Operation Forth Bridge and are having to drastically scale back the number of people invited to the ceremony, next Saturday.  The names of those invited have not been released, but it is expected to be mostly made up of senior members of the Royal Family.  The first names on the list will likely be Her Majesty, Prince Charles and Prince William  those directly in line to the throne.  Prince Philip's other children are also expected to be there: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.  Next could be the partners of the senior royals, who are present at most official events.  These are Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, the Princess Royal's husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.  The rest of those to be invited is less certain but the remaining could heavily feature more distant members of the Royal Family.  Princess Anne's children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall could be there, with Zara's husband and former England rugby star Mike also present.  Princess Beatrice could be joined by Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, who she married last year.  Her younger sister Princess Eugenie may well also be invited, along with her husband of three years Jack Brooksbank.  Sophie, Countess of Wessex's children may also make the cut Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.  It is also likely the Queen will invite her cousins and their spouses: Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who have offered loyal support and service over the years.  And the Queen is close to the children of her late sister Princess Margaret her nephew the Earl of Snowdon and niece Lady Sarah Chatto and is likely to want them to be present as a source of comfort.  The Queen and Philip's 10 great-grandchildren Savannah and Isla Phillips; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge; Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall; Archie Mountbatten-Windsor; and August Brooksbank are likely to be considered too young to attend the televised proceedings as all are aged 10 and under.


St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle is the resting place of 10 monarchs.  Steeped in history, the 15th century gothic church, set in the Lower Ward of the Queen's favourite residence, has seen many royal funerals and weddings.  It was the setting for the marriage of the Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, in May 2018.  The Duke of Edinburgh, who had just recovered from a hip operation, was among the 600 guests who gathered to watch Harry, the Queen and Philip's grandson, wed the American former actress in a star-studded ceremony.  It was also the venue for the wedding of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank in October 2018.  As well as the scene of royal celebrations, it has also been a place of sadness for the Windsors.  The funeral of Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, took place at St George's in 2002, as did the private committal service for the Queen Mother the same year.  Both are now buried in the tiny George VI Memorial Chapel within the main chapel with the Queen's father King George VI, whose funeral took place at St George's in 1952.  The chapel in Berkshire was also the setting for the funerals of Princess Alexandra's husband Sir Angus Ogilvy in 2005 and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester in 2004.  Within the chapel are the tombs of 10 sovereigns as well as George VI, the remains of Edward IV, Henry VI, Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, the beheaded Charles I, George III, George IV, William IV, Edward VII and George V also rest there.  The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's marriage was blessed in the gothic surrounds in 2005 while the Earl and Countess of Wessex wed there in 1999.  Construction of the chapel was started in 1475 by Edward IV and completed under Henry VIII in 1528.  The chapel is a place of worship for the sovereign and the royal family, and is often at the heart of royal events.  The Windsors gather there each year for Easter services and in the past for occasions such as the service to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday.  Like Westminster Abbey, it is known as a Royal Peculiar, with the Dean of Windsor responsible only to the sovereign.  It is the Chapel of the Order of the Garter, the premier order of chivalry in England.  Each year in June, royals who are Knights and Ladies of the Garter usually process in carriages from Windsor Castle's state apartments down the hill to the chapel for the traditional Order of the Garter ceremony.  They dress in their Garter robes heavy blue velvet capes and black velvet hats with elaborate white ostrich plumes.  On each side of the Quire are the beautifully carved stalls of the Knights and Ladies of the Garter, constructed between 1478 and 1495.  Last year's Order of the Garter ceremony was cancelled because of the Covid-19 crisis.  Under the previous plans for his funeral known in the royal household as 'Forth Bridge' his body would have been embalmed immediately and taken to the Albert Memorial Chapel by St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.  The Mail understands Philip's coffin was last night at the castle, where the Queen is in residence, most probably resting in her private chapel of worship.  Under pre-Covid plans, it would have been brought to London today by road and taken to St James's Palace to reside temporarily in the intimate Chapel Royal.  The College of Arms said yesterday there will be no lying-in-state and Philip's coffin would lie at rest at Windsor Castle ahead of his funeral in St George' Chapel, most likely next Saturday.  It is likely to have been draped with his personal standard which bears references to his Danish and Greek royal heritage, his Mountbatten roots and Edinburgh title and a floral wreath from his family.  A vigil by his children Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward is likely to take place at Windsor.  On the day of his funeral, Philip's coffin is expected to be carried by bearers from the Queen's Company, First Battalion Grenadier Guards.  The duke will be placed on a gun carriage belonging to the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, drawn by a Royal Navy gun crew. The carriage a personal request by Philip is the one that carried Queen Victoria at her funeral in 1901.  A planned cortege through Windsor is now unlikely to take place. But inside Windsor Castle, events are likely to be largely the same, but with fewer mourners.  The coffin will be met by a guard of honour from The Rifles and a band in Horseshoe Cloister, surrounded by houses built in the 15th century for the chapel's 'singing men'.  Twelve singers known as lay clerks still live there, and they will perform during the service, with a bell tolling throughout.  On the grass south of the West Gate will be Royal Navy pipers.  A bearer party of Royal Marines will carry the coffin into St George's Chapel via the West Steps, lined by the Household Cavalry, where the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury will wait.  The coffin will be taken into the Quire the resting place of most of the monarchs buried at the chapel. Inside or under the Quire are Edward VII, Henry VI, Edward IV, George III, George IV and William IV, Henry VIII and Charles I.  Philip's catafalque will be placed on a black marble slab, which is the entrance to the Royal Vault.  The hymns requested by the prince are believed to include his favourite seafarer's anthem, For Those In Peril On The Sea. At the end of the service a Psalm and the 'ashes to ashes' text will be read as a piper plays a lament.  The coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault and will remain there until the Queen dies and they are buried together in the memorial chapel.  Most of Britain's monarchs are buried in Westminster Abbey and St George's Chapel, but both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are in a mausoleum in Frogmore Gardens.   After her husband's death, Victoria lived largely in isolation at Balmoral until she died on January 22, 1901. Her 40 years of mourning severely damaged the monarchy.  Following the Duke's death, Union flags will fly at half-mast around Britain, but Philip will not lie in state and there will be no state funeral.  The Lord Chamberlain, the most senior officer of the royal household, will be in charge of arrangements.  The Queen is also expected to broadcast a televised message to the nation at some stage over the next few days, although this is dependent on how she feels.  In normal times, there would be early morning rehearsals over the next week for a gun carriage and procession through the streets of London, and another in Windsor.  The day before his funeral, the coffin would be moved across the road from Chapel Royal to the Queen's Chapel to allow an easier transfer to the gun carriage.  The funeral itself would be held in Windsor, while a military procession would take place from St James's Palace, down Marlborough Road and up The Mall.  The gun carriage holding the coffin would then pass around the Queen Victoria Memorial, Buckingham Palace and up Constitution Hill to Wellington Arch.  Members of the military would lead the procession, with the royal family and household walking behind - but the Queen would be expected to go straight to Windsor.  At Wellington Arch, there would be a royal salute before a ceremonial transfer sees with the coffin moved to a Land Rover hearse or car and taken to Windsor.   On arrival in Windsor, there would be a slow procession driven up the Long Walk with drummers, military and members of the royal family following behind.  It would move up the Long Walk, through Cambridge Gate and then onto Park Street, High Street, past the Guildhall and Castle Hill and in through the Henry VIII gate.  The arrangements are codenamed Forth Bridge, after the Scottish landmark and Unesco World Heritage Site.  The railway bridge, crossing the Forth Estuary in Scotland, which opened in 1890, remains one of the greatest cantilever trussed bridges.  Plans for the aftermath of the duke's death have been in place for many years, and were updated and reviewed regularly by Buckingham Palace staff in consultation with the Queen and Philip.  Complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, Forth Bridge has been adjusted to take account of the crisis.  The duke's funeral was due to have a strong military presence in recognition of his naval career and his links with the armed forces.  But the prospect of creating a spectacle that could potentially attract hundreds of thousands of people means there is no longer expected to be a military procession in London or any processions through Windsor.  A military involvement is expected to take place within the grounds of Windsor Castle.  Those servicemen and women taking part will rapidly begin their preparations, from practising routines to polishing helmets and swords.  Royal dressers will be fastidiously choosing and preparing black mourning ensembles.  Thames Valley Police will be tasked with dealing with the security needed in the days ahead, and preventing mass gatherings.  The Royal Households have a long history of making detailed plans for royal funerals.  Arrangements for the Queen Mother's codenamed Tay Bridge were 22 years old by the time she died at the age of 101.  London Bridge is the codename for the Queen's funeral plans.  In 2004, thieves broke into a car which belonged to a palace press officer at a motorway service station and made off with a briefcase which contained the secret plans regarding the Queen.  But the case and its confidential contents were found and returned by a member of the public.  It was once said that Philip, who was known for his acerbic wit, was amused by the fact that many of those involved in the planning of his funeral had themselves died before him.  Not all royal death arrangements have been so meticulously ordered.  Queen Victoria died at the age of 81 in 1901 after a period of ill health, but the Earl Marshal, who was responsible for the funeral, had no plans in place.  The complex arrangements, including transporting Victoria's body across the Solent from the Isle of Wight and facilitating a two-hour military procession through London involving thousands of people, had to be organised from scratch in 10 days.  In contrast, her son, Edward VII, insisted his own funeral was planned well in advance.

Who could be invited to Prince Philip's funeral?

1.  The Queen
2.  Prince of Wales
3.  Duchess of Cornwall
4.  Princess Royal
5.  Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
6.  Duke of York
7.  Earl of Wessex
8.  Countess of Wessex
9.  Peter Phillips
10.  Zara Tindall
11.  Duke of Cambridge
12.  Duke of Sussex
13.  Princess Beatrice
14.  Princess Eugenie
15.  Lady Louise Windsor
16.  Viscount Severn
17.  Duchess of Cambridge
18.  Mike Tindall
19.  Jack Brooksbank
20.  Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
21.  Princess Alexandra
22.  Duke of Gloucester
23.  Duchess of Gloucester
24.  Duke of Kent
25.  Duchess of Kent
26.  Prince Michael of Kent
27.  Princess Michael of Kent
28.  Earl of Snowdon
29.  Lady Sarah Chatto
30.  Boris Johnson/Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Tony Radakin

Funeral could help Royals heal 'tension', says Cardinal

Coming together for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral could help heal any tensions between the royal family and the Duke of Sussex, a religious leader has said.  Harry laid bare his rift with members of his family during an interview in the United States with Oprah Winfrey last month. He is likely to fly in from his California home to attend his grandfather's funeral, but it is not known if he will be joined by the Duchess of Sussex as she is pregnant.  Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said gathering for Philip's funeral could allow the family to have 'a comparative bit of privacy' together.  He told Times Radio: 'I think there might be a bit of consolation in it for the royal family actually because it just gives them a chance to be close and to have a comparative bit of privacy. Obviously the whole ceremony will be watched by everybody but you think of the complexities of the dynamics in that family and we have to think of Harry, so far away. I'm sure he'll come but not being, the whole time, in the public eye might just help.  Many a family gather and get over tension and broken relationships at the time of a funeral. Something very profound unites them all again. And that would be true for this family, I'm sure.'

How Prince Philip's funeral will be held 

There will be no lying in state and no state funeral for Philip, in accordance with his wishes.  His ceremonial royal funeral and burial are expected to take place in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.  Buckingham Palace will confirm the arrangements for the duke's funeral in the next day or so. Philip helped draw up the details himself and was determined there should be a minimum of fuss.  Members of the public usually leave flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace, but stay at home advice means people are forbidden from going out unless necessary.  At some point, there will be gun salutes in the duke's honour if the military are able to facilitate this. Union flags on royal buildings where the monarch is not in residence will fly at half-mast.  The Queen has to decide whether the royal family enters Court Mourning dressing in black and using black-edged writing paper or the alternative, shorter Family Mourning dressing in black and how long this will last.  Some official engagements may continue, but social engagements all on hold anyway because of the pandemic are usually cancelled after the death of a senior member of the royal family unless in aid of charity.  The Government decides on the length of any National Mourning. A nationwide two-minute silence could take place, as it did for the Queen Mother on the day of her funeral.  Parliament is likely to honour the duke, with politicians gathering for special sessions in both the Commons and the Lords.  But arrangements will depend on what the Government is advising in terms of MPs socially distancing in Parliament.  The Queen may record a televised speech in tribute to her husband, just as she did for the Queen Mother in 2002, but it will depend on how she is feeling.  The rest of Philip's family are likely to release their own statements about the royal patriarch.  Traditionally, the duke's coffin would have been moved to the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace to remain at rest for several days, but this is unlikely to be necessary if there is no longer a London element to the plans. The monarch and the royal family will pay their respects in private, as will household staff.  Philip's children are likely to hold a private vigil at some stage around the coffin if restrictions permit. A military involvement is expected to take place within the grounds of Windsor Castle.   The duke's coffin will not lie in state and the funeral will not be a state one; instead it is set to be a ceremonial royal funeral. The duke's funeral is expected to take place at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel eight days after his death.

Gun salute for Prince Philip: Artillery in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Gibraltar join Royal Navy warships in firing 41 rounds in 41 minutes to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

A gun salute rang out around the world today in honour of Prince Philip who died yesterday aged 99, with Royal Navy warships firing 41 shots over 40 minutes from midday in unison with batteries across the UK, Gibraltar and in his beloved Commonwealth.  Crowds gathered on Tower Bridge to watch members of the Honourable Artillery Company fire their cannons from the Tower of London as shots also echoed around the capital from the historic barracks seven miles away at Woolwich, finishing at 12.40pm precisely.  HMS Diamond, a 8,000-tonne destroyer dubbed 'the jewel in the naval crown, set sail from Portsmouth on Friday with her flag at half mast and in the Channel held its gun salute in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh, a celebrated sailor and war hero.  She is the modern successor to the destroyers Philip served on during the Second World War as part of his 14-year naval career. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 Frigate, fired her 4.5 inch main gun in the Gulf, where she is based.  On land 'Solemn' 41-shot salutes took place from the wharf at the Tower of London, in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as from Naval bases in Portsmouth, Plymouth and the Rock of Gibraltar.  The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired on the Parade Ground at the historic Woolwich Barracks using the same guns also fired for Philip's wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in 1953.  An artillery salute has already taken place at Parliament House in Adelaide this morning, with similar commemorations repeated across the Commonwealth.

Officials remove tributes as soon as they are laid at Buckingham Palace and Windsor as nation faces seven days of eerie socially distanced mourning before a quiet, almost private family funeral

The British public defied public health advice to stay at home and continued to lay flowers for Prince Philip during socially distanced vigils at royal palaces today as the country marks his death at the age of 99 during seven days of national mourning ahead of his scaled-back funeral.  The bouquets, flowers, cards, Union Flags and balloons are being moved away by staff almost as soon as they are left but royal aides insist they will all be saved and looked at by the Royal Family inside the grounds of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.  Palace security have even put up signs urging people not to congregate, but waves of mourners are still arriving to pay their respects to Her Majesty's devoted husband, who dedicated his life to public service and supporting her through their 73-year marriage.  Well-wishers, all respecting social distancing and wearing masks, laid their tributes and briefly stood to pay their respects, with some wiping away tears or quietly singing hymns before returning home.  The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin is at Windsor, where the Queen is in residence, in Her Majesty's private chapel of worship, before being moved to the nearby Albert Memorial Chapel today, where he will rest over the weekend. Their youngest child Prince Edward is there supporting his mother again today, having made the short trip from his Surrey home.  Philip is expected to be in the Royal Vault during his private family funeral at St George's Chapel next Saturday, and will remain there until the Queen dies and they are buried together in the memorial chapel in a hugely scaled back event due to Britain's ongoing lockdown, with only 30 relatives able to attend. Britons are being warned to stay at home and watch on TV to avoid spreading coronavirus.

How Philip was visited by emotional Charles in hospital before being returned to the comfort of Windsor where Prince enjoyed an Easter walk with the Queen

Prince Philip's final weeks saw him visited by an emotional Prince Charles in hospital before being returned to the comfort of Windsor where his son enjoyed an Easter walk with the Queen as the stoic monarch carried on with her public duties throughout.  The Queen, 94, today announced with 'deep sorrow' the death of her husband at the age of 99, calling him her 'strength and guide' throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign. The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.  Philip's eldest son Prince Charles, 72, paid him a half-hour visit during the first week of his treatment, making a 100-mile journey from Highgrove in Gloucestershire to the capital. Charles appeared emotional when he left.  The Queen spent the Easter Weekend at Windsor, and was seen on a socially-distanced walk with Charles on March 23, in an image released on Good Friday. It is unclear if the Prince of Wales saw his father on the day and whether he has seen him since.  Despite all the personal turmoil, which included Meghan and Harry's bombshell Oprah interview while Philip was still in hospital, the Queen has continued carrying out her duties, mainly over video call due to Covid restrictions. She last appeared in public March 31 to mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force, and she has also held several meetings over video call.


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It's so sad for the Queen as they have been together for such a long time.