Prince Philip’s funeral will be arranged according to the late Duke’s wishes, shunning certain conventions such as a Lying-in-State.
While Prince Philip’s death will not change the royal line of succession, the loss of the Duke has changed the monarchy as we know it.
The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving royal consort in British history and was once described by Her Majesty as her “strength and stay”.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
Throughout his life, Prince Philip was a pivotal member of the Royal Family, sometimes called The Firm. He won the Queen’s heart in their decades spent together and was a devoted father of four, grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of ten.
When is Prince Philip’s funeral?
The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service will take place on Saturday, April 17 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. The Queen has gone into mourning for eight days ahead of his funeral and will remain in mourning afterwards until April 22.
Will Prince Philip have a state funeral?
As a royal consort, Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral. However, the Duke of Edinburgh is understood to have left strict instructions stating that he did not want the “fuss” of a state funeral.
The College of Arms has confirmed that in line with the late Duke’s wishes, Prince Philip’s funeral will not be a state one.
Their statement revealed: “The funeral will not be a State Funeral and will not be preceded by a Lying-in-State. His Royal Highness’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George’s Chapel.
“This is in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes.”
Traditionally a state funeral would involve a military procession to Westminster Abbey. Prince Philip’s body would then have lain in state for members of the public to pay their respects, followed by a service at either the Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral. He would then have been buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Instead of this, the funeral service will be held in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
In the past, St George’s Chapel has been the setting of happier times for the royal family. It is where both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were held.
In line with government guidelines due to Covid-19, there will be no public procession on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral. Instead, a private procession will take place before the service and his coffin will travel from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel in a specially modified Land Rover which Philip helped to design. His coffin will be draped with his standard and a wreath and the duke’s naval cap and sword will be placed on top.
The Land Rover will be followed on foot by members of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales. Given Philip previously held the military title of Captain General Royal Marines, it is poignant that it will be the Royal Marines who will have the honor of carrying his coffin into the chapel.
The funeral will begin with a minute’s silence at 3pm as the coffin is brought inside. On the grass in Windsor Castle’s Quadrangle will be military detachments from units that had special connections with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Where will Prince Philip be buried?
It’s been suggested that Prince Philip will be buried at Frogmore Gardens in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Whilst this is undoubtedly a beautiful final resting place for the Duke of Edinburgh, it is not open to the public and so unfortunately royal fans would not be able to pay their respects at this significant place.
There are three burial places at Frogmore Gardens, including the Royal Mausoleum, the Duchess of Kent’s Mausoleum, and the Royal Burial ground. The Queen’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria was laid to rest in the Royal Mausoleum alongside Prince Albert.
Though it’s not yet known which of these might be chosen for Her Majesty’s beloved husband, he will be in suitably regal company.
What is national mourning?
The country will now go into a period of national mourning until the day of Prince Philip’s funeral and Union Jack flags will fly at half-mast on royal buildings where the Queen is not in residence. An official notice of Prince Philip’s death has also been attached to the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Following the initial eight days of mourning for the Queen, there will be a further period of official Royal Mourning which is currently expected to last for 30 days. It’s expected that members of the Royal Family will be seen wearing dark colours and mourning bands over the coming weeks.
MPs will also reportedly wear black armbands, whilst newsreaders will wear black clothes. During this time, as a mark of respect, new bills will not be given Royal Assent to become law, and state affairs will be suspended.
As she did on the occasion of the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, Her Majesty may well broadcast a televised message to the nation over the next few days.
Though this has not been confirmed and it could be that the Queen will prefer to grieve in private at this difficult time.