George, Charlotte and Louis won’t attend Philip’s funeral as ‘he wouldn’t want kids there’

Prince George: Expert discusses possibility of 'walking away'

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The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest following a televised funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle next Saturday. The sombre occasion is set to be a royal farewell like no other in history, with mourners required by law to wear masks and observe social distancing. There is a limit of 30 for funerals during the lockdowns – a rule which left the Queen, 94, with the difficult task of cutting down the guest list.

The plan for the prince’s funeral – dubbed Operation Forth Bridge – included invites for 800 people but this has had to be significantly scaled back due to Covid.

While Philip’s children and their spouses will no doubt be present, those lower down the pecking order including his 10 great-grandchildren may miss out.

Royal expert Ingrid Seward said even if the coronavirus pandemic was not affecting his funeral arrangements, the Queen’s husband would not have wanted children at his funeral.

She told the Telegraph: “I don’t think there’s any point in them being there, because they wouldn’t understand what was going on

“The Royal family are completely traditional, and even without the Covid restrictions, young children wouldn’t be there.

“The Queen only had children down to Christmas lunch when they had reached a certain age.

“He wouldn’t want young children racing up and down the aisle.

“[He thought] you can never go wrong if you follow convention.”

Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, just two months short of what would have been his 100th birthday.

Buckingham Palace has asked members of the public not to leave floral tributes to the prince at royal residences.

But despite the plea, thousands of well-wishers have flocked to the palace in central London and Windsor Castle to pay their respects.

Royal fans have left bouquets of flowers, grave wreaths, cards, candles and photos of the duke.

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After Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward paid tribute to their father in the wake of his death, Prince William and Prince Harry released their own statements on Monday.

The Duke of Cambridge praised his grandfather’s life of service for “his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family”.

He said he will forever be grateful that his three young children had the chance to get to know him and make wonderful memories.

He explained: “I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!”

William, second in line to the throne, said he and the Duchess of Cambridge are committed to continuing their service and support of Her Majesty.

The 38-year-old added: “I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”

Prince Harry, 36, who stepped back from royal duties last year, thanked his grandfather for serving the monarchy.

The Duke of Sussex’s statement was released after he was spotted arriving at Heathrow airport this morning.

He sought to draw attention to Philip’s “unparalleled devotion” to the Queen and added: “You will be sorely missed, but always remembered – by the nation and the world.”

He continued: “Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.”

Harry made the trip from California alone after doctors advised the heavily pregnant Duchess of Sussex not to travel.

Meghan, 39, is believed to be due her second baby in June.

Additional reporting by Katie Harris.

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