Saturday 17th April marks the day HRH Prince Philip will be laid to rest. Despite being nearly 100, his death last week shocked the world. Philip's passing has left the Royal Family dealing with another tragedy after what has already been a tough 12 months.
With the impact of "Megxit” and fallout from the pandemic, the monarchy has already had much to deal with. The death of the Queen's husband has added to the horrific year the Royals have had. The circumstances around the funeral arrangements have been made worse by Covid restrictions limiting who can attend the service.
Who is going to Prince Philip’s funeral?
There had been speculation over who would attend Prince Philip's funeral, but a list of guests has now been revealed. Under normal circumstances, hundreds of people would have been invited, but Covid restrictions have limited the occasion to just 30 attendees.
All senior royals are scheduled to be in attendance. In addition to the Queen, this includes Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and their families. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie will be there with their husbands and Zara and Mike Tindall will also be there.
Princes William and Harry will be brought together once again for the sad occasion, with Kate Middleton attending but pregnant Meghan Markle staying at home in the United States.
The two princes are also set to walk apart for the funeral, which is a stark difference from their mother’s funeral in 1997. While they are expected to walk behind the coffin at tomorrow’s service, their cousin Peter Phillips is set to walk between them.
Others who are expected to attend the service are:
- Edward, Duke of Kent
- Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
- Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvy
- Prince Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
- Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
- Prince Philipp, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- David Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowden
- Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
- Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto
There will also be military personnel as part of the procession and a small choir of several singers for the service. The blessing will be given by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
What to expect on the day
The service will take place at St. George's Chapel in Windsor at 3.00 pm. The Duke partly planned the service before his death. Even the Land Rover hearse being used had his input, as he helped to design it over a period of 16 years. He is also said to have personally chosen the medals and decorations that will be at the altar.
The Duke’s coffin will be placed onto the open-top Land Rover hearse at 2.45 pm. The procession is expected to enter the Horseshoe cloister in Windsor Castle at 2.53 pm. At 3.00 pm, the pallbearers will stop briefly on the second landing of the chapel's west steps for a national minute's silence.
General Sir Nick Carter, who will walk alongside the coffin at the procession, said, "It will be a celebration of a life well lived and will also show how much the armed forces loved and respected him."
There will be no military uniforms worn by Royal Family members. The Queen reportedly made this decision to avoid potential backlash around Prince Andrew being dressed in full military regalia and prevent Price Harry from being conspicuous for being the only family member in civilian clothing. Instead, they will wear morning coats or day dresses for the service. The Duke will, however, have a military funeral with bands and a military escort. The Duke's four children will walk behind the hearse along with military escorts, including Personal Protection Officer Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell.
At the end of the procession, the Queen and her lady-in-waiting will travel in the state Bentley and enter the chapel via the side door. She is expected to sit alone during the service.
Naturally, people across Britain and the world will be keen to be involved in this momentous and sad occasion. There will be radio and television coverage with all major channels – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 – now having updated schedules. Live coverage from the BBC will begin at 12.30 pm and cover the events at Windsor throughout the funeral ceremony.