Military role is central in Prince Philip's upcoming Windsor Castle funeral

The British military will play a key role in the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip’s solemn funeral next weekend will include elements from the Royal Navy, Air Force and Army.

A reflection of the Prince’s close ties with the military is evident during an eight-minute procession in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

On the day of the funeral, the prince’s coffin – accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and Lord Chamberlain, head of the royal household – is brought to the state entrance of Windsor Castle by a supporting party of the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier, on guards.

Representative departments from Philip’s special military relations will stand on the lawn in the Schlossviereck.

The square is also lined with household cavalry and foot guards.

The gang of 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 chiefs of service, reflecting Philip’s close relationship with the military.

This includes the chief of the air staff, the naval staff and the defense staff.

Philip had a notable career in the Royal Navy, and while retiring from active service in 1951, he remained closely associated with it and other military elements throughout his public life.

The coffin, which is transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover that Philip helped design, is flanked by pallbearers drawn from the Duke’s special relationships – the Royal Marines, regiments, corps and air stations.

The Prince of Wales and members of the Royal Family will take part in the procession with staff from Philip’s household walking just behind the coffin.

The route of the procession is lined with representatives of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.

For the duration of the procession, tiny cannons will be fired from the King’s Troop’s Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle, and the Curfew Tower Bell will ring.

An honor guard and a band from The Rifles receive the coffin at the foot of the west steps, with the national anthem played when the coffin enters the Horseshoe Cloister.

A Royal Naval Piping Party with 1 Chief Petty Officer and 5 ratings will be present in honor of Philip’s Sea Service.

The piping party will whistle “quiet” as soon as the Land Rover is at the foot of the stairs.

A supporting group of Royal Marines will carry the coffin up the steps and observe a minute’s silence.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor receive the coffin.

In accordance with coronavirus guidelines for restricting guests in the chapel, most of the procession will not take place in St. George’s, except for members of the royal family and Philip’s private secretary Archie Miller Bakewell.

In the chapel, Philip’s insignia – the medals and decorations awarded to him by Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations – are prepositioned on cushions on the altar along with the staff of his Field Marshal Royal Air Force, wings and insignia from Denmark and Greece.


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