Funeral arrangements for Prince Philip confirmed

The Duke of Edinburgh at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Pictured: The Duke of Edinburgh unveiling a plaq

Prince Philip unveils a plaque to celebrate Pensthorpe's 20th anniversary in 2008. - Credit: Archant library

A funeral for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will be held next weekend, the Royal Family has confirmed.

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The duke, who died on Friday, will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, with a ceremony celebrating his life being held at St George's Chapel, Winsor Castle from 3pm.

However, his final farewell will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family following strict guideline, wearing face masks and socially distancing as they pay tribute.

And a national minute's silence will be observed as the ceremony begins at 3pm.

Prince Philip who died yesterday aged 99. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Prince Philip who died yesterday aged 99. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

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 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.

Only 30 people - expected to be the Duke's children, grandchildren and other close family - will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

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It is understood Meghan Markle made every effort to be able to travel with Prince 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.

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.

Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh who has been admitted to hospital after feeling unwell, Buckingham Palace said. Philip, aged 99, who received a Covid-19 jab in January, was admitted to the private King Edward VII Hospital in London on Tuesday. - Credit: PA

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.

And in Norfolk, flowers were left at the  Sandringham Estate, where the duke spent many happy Christmases. A memorial service is also planned for him at Norwich Cathedral, details of which will be confirmed in days to come.

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