'Ceremonial' funeral for Prince Philip to take place on Saturday

10 April 2021, 17:03 | Updated: 10 April 2021, 19:45

Prince Philip will be buried on Saturday 17 April, it has been confirmed
Prince Philip will be buried on Saturday 17 April, it has been confirmed. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be held on Saturday 17 April and will be televised, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

It will not be a State Funeral, and a national minute silence will be held at 3pm at the start of the service.

On the morning of the funeral, it will be moved in a small ceremonial procession from the state entrance of the castle to St George's Chapel.

There will be no lying in state for Philip in keeping with his wishes.

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Philip's coffin will be draped with his personal standard, and decorated with a wreath of flowers and his Naval cap and sword.

The duke's coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot, a senior Palace official said.

The Duke of Edinburgh pictured with the Queen on their final wedding anniversary
The Duke of Edinburgh pictured with the Queen on their final wedding anniversary. Picture: PA

The Duke of Sussex is expected to travel to the UK from America for the service, but the pregnant Duchess of Sussex has been advised not to travel by her doctor, a palace spokesperson said.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister's recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.

Read more: Countess of Wessex praises 'amazing' Queen as she leaves Windsor Castle

Read more: Prince Philip 1921- 2021 - Her Majesty's 'Strength and Stay'

Only 30 people - expected to be the Duke's children, grandchildren and other close family - will attend as guests.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will not be one of those in attendance so he does not take away a seat from one of the family.

Read more: Boris Johnson pays tribute to the 'extraordinary life' of the Duke of Edinburgh

It is understood Meghan made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.

Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation's longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair.

It is understood Harry will be travelling to the UK for the funeral, while Meghan has been told to remain in the US by doctors as she is pregnant
It is understood Harry will be travelling to the UK for the funeral, while Meghan has been told to remain in the US by doctors as she is pregnant. Picture: PA

All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.

The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge - the codename for the duke's funeral plans - were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.

Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family "mourning his loss".

The Earl and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour with the Queen at the castle on Saturday, with a tearful Sophie telling reporters as she left: "The Queen has been amazing."

The Duke of York also arrived at Windsor on Saturday, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday.

Gun salutes have been fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute to the duke.

More to follow...

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