The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 99, and behind the scenes, plans are already being put into place for the funeral arrangements.
Sadly, the Duke’s funeral will be heavily affected by restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thrown previous plans and centuries’ worth of tradition out the window.
Prince Philip reportedly asked for a funeral with minimal fuss and, therefore, would not have received a state funeral. Despite that, thousands of people were expected to descend on both Windsor and London.
In what the British had codenamed Philip’s death Operation Forth Bridge (named after a bridge near Edinburgh), a military procession had been expected, and hundreds of members of the armed forces were to line the streets. Public mourners were expected to camp out overnight to get a glimpse of the procession.
This was all expected to take place about 10 days after he died; however, because of the pandemic, the authorities will want to avoid any mass gathering of public mourners. Under current British government rules, no more than 30 mourners are allowed to attend a funeral, and those that do must socially distance beforehand.
Where will Prince Philip be buried?
The Royal Family is expected to announce the details of funeral arrangements in the coming days. But what we do know is that the funeral ceremony will take place, as expected, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Chapel has been the site of royal burials for centuries.
Philip has reportedly requested that he be buried in the nearby Frogmore Gardens at Windsor Castle, which was close to his heart.
When she passes, Queen Elizabeth, is expected to be buried in the royal vault at St. George’s Chapel.
He will not lie state, which means mourners will not be waiting in line to see his coffin (approximately 200,000 people filed past the Queen Mother’s coffin in 2002.) However, this decision was made before the pandemic by Philip himself.
Who will attend Prince Philip’s funeral?
We can expect the family to release a guest list for the funeral service in the coming days, but it’s thought that it will be mainly, perhaps solely, family members. The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, is expected to return from America for the ceremony.
Members of the public have been asked not to gather in large groups or to try to attend the funeral. They’ve also been told not to leave flowers and tributes at royal residences, as is the normal tradition.
Members of the public can leave a message at an online book of condolences that have been set up on the Royal Family website and can also leave a donation to charity if they wish to do so.
The memorial service will also be widely broadcast on many of the major TV stations across the world.
On Saturday (April 10), a commemorative gun salute will occur at noon across the United Kingdom. Guns located in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, and London, among other locations, will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute for 40 minutes.
The British government has also announced that all union jacks and national flags will fly at half-mast on all government buildings until the day after the funeral.