Prince Philip: Buckingham Palace announce funeral details
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The warring brothers are expected to be asked to walk behind his coffin in a royal procession through Windsor Castle, led by Prince Charles, although the final details are still to be confirmed. William, 38, and Harry will be among 30 mourners, all wearing masks and maintaining social distancing in line with Government guidance.
It is likely that Charles, William, Edward and other royals will wear military uniform but Harry and Andrew, the two royals who have served most recently in armed conflicts, will have to wear suits after stepping away from official duties.
The Queen is understandably expected to take a special place, sitting in her customary seat inside St George’s Chapel, in the second row at the end stall near the catafalque containing her husband’s coffin.
Other members of the family certain to attend are Charles and Camilla, Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Andrew, Edward and Sophie and Kate. All of Philip’s grandchildren are expected to attend.
The Queen’s cousins are also likely to be there with spouses. Among them are Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
Philip’s private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, is expected to be in the congregation, as perhaps the only non-family member.
But there are two other potential candidates: Philip’s cousin, Lady Pamela Hicks, Lord Mountbatten’s 91-year-old daughter, and Philip’s carriage-driving partner, Penny Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
Britain will hold a national minute’s silence at 3pm on Saturday, immediately before the televised funeral.
Plans for Philip’s four children to stand vigil beside the coffin will not go ahead as a public part of the ceremony but they may still choose to do that in private beforehand.
Because of the need to avoid anything that risks encouraging crowds to gather, the Queen has had to drop long-established plans for her husband’s body to be taken to the Chapel Royal, at St James’s Palace, for a week and then the Queen’s Chapel, across the road, where the children would have stood vigil, before being driven in a 22-mile funeral procession to Windsor.
Instead Philip’s body will remain in the Queen’s private chapel at Windsor Castle all week. His coffin is covered in his personal standard and a wreath of flowers.
In a brief military ceremony on the day of the funeral, the coffin will be taken to St George’s Chapel, borne on a Land Rover especially adapted to carry coffins, according to a design which Philip helped develop many years ago.
After the service, it will be lowered into the royal vault beneath the Albert Memorial Chapel, part of St George’s Chapel built by Henry VII as a royal mausoleum and restored and renamed by Queen Victoria in memory of her consort.
It will remain there until after the death of the Queen, when both bodies will be interred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, added to St George’s in 1969 and the final resting place of the Queen’s parents and her sister, Princess Margaret.
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