LONDON – Prince Harry and his brother Prince William will not walk side by side in the ceremonial procession behind the coffin of their grandfather Prince Philip ahead of his funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday. This emerges from new details released by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
Her cousin Peter Phillips will be walking among the brothers while they escort the coffin to St. George’s Chapel. Alexander de Montfort, the executive secretary of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, reported to a press conference.
It will be their first public appearance together since Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex gave a bombshell interview to American media mogul Oprah Winfrey last month when the couple made multiple revelations and allegations about their treatment by the royal family.
But de Montfort refused to comment when asked if William and Harry’s positioning was an attempt to minimize family tensions.
However, he said that no military “uniforms will be worn” at the funeral.
Protocol suggests that Harry, who made two tours of Afghanistan, can only wear a suit with medals at royal events. He lost his military honorary degrees after choosing to step down as a senior working king.
British media reports had also indicated that Prince Andrew, who resigned from his royal duties in 2019 because of his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was considering wearing an admiral’s uniform. Buckingham Palace did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment on the matter.
De Montfort said that Andrew’s William and Harry will take part in the solemn procession; her father, Prince Charles; and Philip’s other children, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, among a handful of other kings and officials.
The image of the brothers is likely to bring back memories of 1997 when they somehow walked behind the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana, along with their grandfather, who died at Windsor Castle on Friday aged 99.
Philip’s coffin is carried on a specially customized Land Rover that he helped create, de Montfort said, adding that Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family will follow in cars.
The memorial service will then take place at St. George’s Chapel, which was last seen on global screens when Harry and Meghan were married there in 2018.
Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, will not attend the funeral and has stayed in California on the advice of her doctor, Buckingham Palace said over the weekend.
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The final order of service and seating plan will be released on Saturday, the Lord Chamberlain’s Office announced, adding that the funeral would meet Covid-19 restrictions and be limited to 30 guests.
As a result, de Montfort said there would be a reduced choir and no congregational singing. Participants also wear masks when entering the chapel for worship.
The service, expected to last 50 minutes, will include a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be presided over by the Dean of Windsor. The national anthem will be played along with the sound of “Action Stations”, a bugle call, at the special request of the Duke of Edinburgh, a former Marine.
Philip’s coffin is then interred in the royal vault in St. George’s Chapel.
The UK public has been urged to stay away from gatherings outside of royal residences due to concerns about the coronavirus. However, a national minute of silence marks the beginning of the service at 3:00 p.m. Local time (10 a.m. CET), which ends with symbolic artillery fire.
However, crowds flocked to royal residences, including Buckingham Palace in central London and Windsor Castle about 25 miles away, to make floral tributes and handwritten notes after Philip’s death last weekend.