Prince Philip's funeral – all we know from guest list to mourning

There will be no lie in the state and no state funeral for Prince Philip, as requested, with a solemn royal funeral and funeral expected to take place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

But the coronavirus pandemic – with mass gatherings banned and England under national lockdown – means exact plans for the aftermath of Philip’s death had to change, with public elements removed to prevent crowds from gathering.

Flags are already flying at half mast in UK government buildings in honor of the Duke and will continue to do so until the morning after his funeral.

The public was asked not to gather in royal residences or leave flower tributes, but instead to donate to charity.

This is what is likely to happen.

– The funeral

Details are expected to be officially announced this weekend. Buckingham Palace staff must consider how to treat them during the worst public health crisis in generations.

The Queen has final approval of the plans – code named Forth Bridge – and will review the amended regulations.

The date has yet to be confirmed, but the funeral was originally scheduled to take place eight days after Philip’s death, on April 17th – just four days before the Queen’s 95th birthday on April 21st.

Lord Chamberlain, Baron Parker of Minsmere, will oversee the longstanding master plan and the days before it. The office of Lord Chamberlain, under the direction of the Queen’s Comptroller, initiates the carefully coordinated program of events.

Philip helped create the original details himself and was determined to make a minimum of fuss.

Behind the scenes, helpers and household staff will be busy implementing the plans.

– The guest list

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a statement following Prince Philip's death

Only 30 people – in addition to the clergy – are allowed to attend Philip’s funeral. It was originally planned for 800 guests, but now has to take into account the strict limit on the number during the pandemic.

The queen has to decide which family members she wants to invite.

The Duke of Sussex is likely to be traveling back from the US to attend. However, it is still not clear whether Meghan Markle will be with her husband.

– Gun greetings

Gun salutes on Philip’s death will take place across the UK, Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday.

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds per round from noon in cities such as London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast as well as in Gibraltar and from warships of the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Defense said.

– mourning the royal family

The Queen must also decide whether the royal family will enter the mourning at court – dressed in black and with writing paper bordered in black – or the alternative, shorter family mourning – dressed in black – and how long it will last .

Some official engagements may continue, but community engagements – most of them put on hold because of the pandemic anyway – are usually canceled after the death of a senior royal family member unless it goes to charitable causes.

The mourning for the Queen Mother in 2002 lasted three weeks.

– National mourning

A military veteran lays a flag in front of Windsor Castle

The government decides on the length of a national mourning, which usually lasts until the day after the funeral.

A nationwide two minute silence could take place, as was the case for the Queen Mother on the day of her funeral.

– Houses of Parliament

Parliament is being called back from its Easter break so that MPs and colleagues can pay tribute to the Duke. Downing Street and Parliament officials confirmed the move to convene the House of Commons again on Monday, a day ahead of schedule.

The House of Commons is expected to meet on Monday from 2.30 p.m.

– Queen can address the nation

Prince Philip with Queen Elizabeth II in 2003

The Queen can record a televised address in honor of her husband just like she did for the Queen Mother in 2002, but it will depend on how she feels.

The rest of Philip’s family are likely to publish their own statements about the royal patriarch in the coming days.

The website of the royal family honors the duke with memorial pages.

– Online condolence book

The royal family’s official website has opened an online condolence book instead of traditional books for people to sign across the country because of the pandemic.

– television and media

TV networks scrapped their schedules to make way for an evening of honors, and news of Philip’s death hit the headlines around the world.

Numerous broadcasters gathered near Buckingham Palace to report on the developments.

The funeral is expected to be broadcast live on the BBC and other networks.

– Coffin in peace

A picture and obituary notice of Prince Philip was displayed on a big screen in Piccadilly Circus on April 9, 2021

Traditionally, the Duke’s coffin would have been taken to the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace to be left alone for a few days, but currently it remains at Windsor Castle.

The Queen retired to Windsor for the embargo, so events will undoubtedly focus on that instead.

The monarch and royal family will show their respect in private, as will the housekeeping staff. Philip’s children are likely to have a private vigil around the coffin at some point if restrictions allow.

– Backstage

Daffodils in bloom near Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

The Duke’s funeral was to have a strong military presence in recognition of his maritime career and links with the armed forces.

However, the prospect of creating a spectacle that could potentially attract hundreds of thousands of people means that no more military processions or processions through Windsor are to be expected in London.

Military participation is expected to take place on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The Thames Valley Police are tasked with ensuring the necessary security in the coming days and preventing mass gatherings.

– Lying in the state

The Duke’s coffin will not be in the same state.

This has long been reported as a plan, but amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it has the added benefit of relieving the government and royal household of a number of logistical nightmares.

The Queen Mother – the sovereign’s last consort to die – resided in the state at Westminster Hall, allowing hundreds of thousands of people who queued for hours to come by to pay their respects.

But Philip always insisted that he didn’t want that honor.

– Funeral

The Duke is expected to be buried on the same day as the funeral in the royal vault in St. George’s Chapel.

This funeral service will be private and attended by the Queen and senior members of the royal family.

– No memorial service

In accordance with Philip’s wishes, there will be no official memorial service.

However, this could change due to the reduced funeral – but only with the consent of the Queen.


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