Prince Philip: Public urged not to attend funeral events due to Covid-19

9 April 2021, 15:02 | Updated: 10 April 2021, 00:43

The Queen will finalise the plans to lay Prince Philip to rest
The Queen will finalise the plans to lay Prince Philip to rest. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Prince Philip will not have a state funeral in accordance with his wishes, and the public has been urged not to attempt to "attend or participate" due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced by Buckingham Palace today, will be laid to rest after eight days of mourning.

His funeral will take place with restrictions due to coronavirus pandemic.

A ban on mass gatherings means the public is being asked not to attend or participate in official events.

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The College of Arms issued the following statement today: "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.

"The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral."

The Cabinet Office also advised people not to lay flowers and gather at royal palaces.

“Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we are asking the public not to gather at Royal Residences, and continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.

“We are supporting the Royal Household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.”

Forth Bridge, the codename for the plan that has kicked into gear after the duke’s death, will now be finalised with the Queen.

A programme of events will be drawn up, which Prince Philip helped design.

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He asked for a minimum of fuss and he will not have a state funeral, with events concentrated on Windsor Castle, where the Queen has based herself throughout the pandemic.

The ceremonial royal funeral is expected to take place at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel eight days after his death.

The televised service was set to feature 800 guests but that will have to change given rules on gatherings. Only 30 people can attend a funeral in England.

It is expected to feature military involvement given his ties to the armed forces.

The duke will not lie in state either, having insisted he did not want the honour, but will lie in rest in Windsor Castle.

He is expected to be buried in the Royal Vault in St George's Chapel on the same day as the funeral.

Prince Philip also asked for no official memorial service, though this could change with the Queen's agreement.

The Queen, who may address the nation, will decide if the royal family enters court mourning, which involves dressing in black and using black-edged writing paper, or a shorter mourning period.

The Queen Mother was mourned for three weeks.

Nationally, the Government will decide on the length of national mourning, which could see a two-minute silence take place across the UK.

The Cabinet will meet today to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, Downing Street said.

Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess on Monday, a day earlier than its scheduled return, for further tributes.