Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth of England will be buried today, Saturday, April 17, 2021.
The Prince died last Friday at the age of 99. He was hospitalised in London for a month earlier this year and was said to be the guiding force behind his funeral arrangements.
He will be laid to rest with the minimum of activities in Windsor during a family service that would be watched on television by millions of people in Britain and around the world.
The Queen will lead the royal family in paying the final farewell to her husband, while her feuding grandsons William and Harry, will pay homage to the Duke by walking behind his coffin during an eight-minute procession from Windsor Castle.
However, the two brothers will not be shoulder to shoulder but separated by their cousin, the Queen and Philip’s oldest grandson Peter Phillips.
The duke’s coffin will be carried on a Land Rover that the duke helped engineers adapt for his funeral.
The Band of the Grenadier Guards, followed by the Major-General commanding the Household Division and service chiefs, will walk in front of the Philip’s hearse, with royal family members behind, ahead of his household staff.
At the back of the procession in the state Bentley will be the Queen and her lady-in-waiting.
The Queen will depart the Sovereign’s Entrance at 2.44pm on the dot, just as the former Royal Navy Commander had planned.
Once inside, the gothic St George’s Chapel the future king William, Duke of Cambridge, will be one step ahead of his brother as the royal family, including the heir to the throne Prince Charles, proceed in pairs.
The Queen, who will be 95 this month would sit alone in the quire of the chapel.
Only 30 mourners are permitted under government guidelines and the royal family will follow them to the letter. They will remain socially-distanced and wear masks throughout the ceremony.
Mourners will include all of the duke’s children and grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and three of Philip’s German relatives, Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden, Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Also invited is Philip’s long-time friend and confidante Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who was his carriage driving partner.
All royal male mourners will wear morning coats with their medals, not military uniform, while the women will wear day dresses.
A reduced choir of just four will feature during the service and the guests will follow Covid rules and not sing.
Prince Harry, who has spoken in the past about how he and William were on “different paths” and have good and bad days in their relationship, will not be accompanied by his wife Meghan, who is pregnant and decided not to return from their Los Angeles home on medical advice.
The head of the armed forces has said the funeral arrangements will reflect the high esteem in which the duke was held by the military.
General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defence Staff about the funeral that0 “It will reflect military precision and above all, I think, it will be a celebration of a life well-lived. It will also show, I think, how much the armed forces loved and respected him.
“I think he will be very much remembered in the armed forces for the interest he showed in us and, of course, the good humour, wit and empathy that he always had with all of us, particularly the rank and file.
“The military always have a great respect for people who have their values and standards and who indeed have shown great courage, and I think that, when we look back at his war record, that sense of courage and what he did is something all of us have great admiration for.”
A knitted memorial depicting the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen has been placed on top of the postbox next to Windsor Castle.