Norfolk and Suffolk will fall silent as nation remembers Prince Philip
- Credit: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith
The region will fall silent today as the nation remembers the Duke of Edinburgh.
From his beloved Sandringham where Prince Philip spent most of his final years to all four corners of the county, people will pause for a minute's reflection at 3pm before his funeral gets under way in St George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle.
There will be no grand state parades down the Mall in London or through the streets of Windsor because of Covid-19. There will be just 30 mourners in the towering chapel, instead of the 800 who were due to be invited before the pandemic and the entire event will take part within the castle walls.
Despite this, aides say the event will take place in accordance with the wishes of the late Duke, who passed away on Friday, April 9 at the age of 99.
Prince Philip, will be joined by the Queen, members of his immediate family and close friends for his final journey, after he arrives at the chapel in a specially-modified Land Rover he designed himself.
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On of his beloved horse drawn carriages, which he rode at Sandringham, will great them in the quadrangle before they enter the chapel for the service.
People are being asked not to gather at Royal residences such as Sandringham, where well-wishers have been leaving flowers and tributes since the Duke's death was announced.
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One tribute reads simply: "We miss you here in Norfolk. Sleep well."
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher said: “The Duke of Edinburgh had a great love of Sandringham and Norfolk and his commitment to the area meant that he was held in high esteem and affection by the people of this diocese. We join with all those who will give thanks to God for such a full and distinguished life of service.”
Special Requiem services have been held at the Cathedral, Lynn Minster and other churches large and small across the region this week. A mass is being held at All Saints Church in Hillington Square, King's Lynn, at 10am on Saturday.
People are being asked to watch the funeral on TV. The BBC's live coverage starts at 12:30pm on BBC One, the BBC News Channel and the BBC iPlayer. ITV' will begin broadcasting at 1.15pm, while Sky One's coverage gets under way at 2.45pm. There will also be live coverage from 2pm on BBC Radio Four and BBC Radio Five Live.
Those attending will include all of Prince Philip's children and grandchildren plus their spouses, the children of the Queen's sister Princess Margaret, and three of his German relatives - Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden; Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Also invited is a close friend of the Duke's, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Penelope "Penny" Knatchbull, who was his carriage driving partner.
Leading the eight-minute procession to the chapel will be the Band of the Grenadier Guards, followed by the Major General commanding the Household Division, service chiefs, the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin on a custom-built Land Rover hearse, members of the royal family on foot, Prince Philip's household staff, and finally a Bentley carrying the Queen.
The congregation will all wear masks for the service. Members of the Royal Family who have walked in the procession will put their facemasks on before entering the chapel. The Queen will wear a face mask during her car journey to the chapel, as will other guests who have not walked in the procession.
Action Stations, sounded on naval warships to signal all hands must go to battle stations, will be played at the funeral at the Duke's specific request.
Buglers of the Royal Marines will perform the wartime alert, a tradition sometimes associated with naval funerals, in honour of Prince Philip's active service in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.
The Last Post will be played to signify "a soldier has gone to his final rest".
The Duke will be interred in the royal vault in the chapel at the end of the service, which will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner.
A lament will then be played by a pipe major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Last Post will be sounded by Buglers of the Royal Marines from the west end of the Nave.
After a period of silence, the Reveille, used to wake the military at sunrise, will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the west end of the Nave.
The Buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations, which will be followed by the Archbishop of Canterbury's blessing and the singing of the National Anthem by a four-strong choir.
*See Monday's Eastern Daily Press for a special eight-page report on the service.