Prince Philip's funeral: What we know about plans to bury the Duke of Edinburgh
TORONTO -- Following Prince Philip’s death at Windsor Castle at the age of 99, here’s what we know about the plans for his funeral.
On Friday, Buckingham Palace said Philip died “peacefully” at home, just weeks after returning to Windsor Castle from a month in hospital.
In an update on Saturday, a spokesperson for the palace provided more details about the upcoming service.
Here’s what we know so far.
WHAT TYPE OF CEREMONY WILL IT BE?
A ceremonial funeral: The Duke of Edinburgh will not have a state funeral, nor will his body lie in state for the public to pay their respects in the preceding days, the College of Arms said in a statement Friday.
Instead, the Royal Family will hold a ceremonial funeral for Prince Philip, which means it will be a more private affair.
“It will be what's known as a ceremonial royal funeral,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. “The plans for the funeral are very much in line with the Duke of Edinburgh’s own personal wishes.”
The Duke had previously expressed he wanted a "less fussy," private, military-style funeral.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral will be scaled down and limited to 30 mourners. The palace added that the service would be held in accordance with government public health guidelines, which means the Royal Family will be wearing masks.
According to the statement, there will be no public access, no public processions, and the funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle.
WHERE WILL IT BE?
The funeral will be held at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and a burial in Frogmore gardens, home to the Royal Mausoleum, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are interred, and the Royal Burial Ground.
WHEN WILL IT BE?
The royal ceremonial funeral will take place at 3 p.m. local time at Windsor Castle on April 17. Prince Philip’s coffin will be moved to St. George’s Chapel for the service on that date. Prince Philip is currently lying in rest in a private chapel of Windsor Castle.
A minute of silence will be observed across the country before the funeral begins.
National period of mourning: A national period of mourning began Friday and will last until the Duke’s funeral. The Royal Family is expected to wear mourning clothes, usually dark colours, and black arm bands. The Queen is not expected to carry out any duties during this period, which means no laws will be passed.
WHO WILL ATTEND?
Buckingham Palace has not shared who will be attending the funeral yet, but a spokesperson confirmed that Prince Philip’s grandson, Prince Harry, will travel from his home in California for the service.
Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, will not accompany him on the trip overseas, according to the statement.
“The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend," the palace spokesman said. “The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel. So the Duke will be attending.”
WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW?
Flags half-masted: All flags will fly at half-mast during the mourning period. The palace explained in a statement Union flags have been ordered half-masted at all Royal residences while “The Royal Standard will continue to fly at Windsor Castle where the Queen is in residence.”
No gatherings, laying of flowers: The palace has asked the public not to gather or lay flowers royal residences, citing public health guidelines while the U.K. grapples with COVID-19.
“During this time the Royal Family ask that members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said.
With files from Reuters