Preparations for the funeral of Prince Philip, at St George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, are under way, with the procession and service to be televised, worldwide, tomorrow (Saturday April 17).
The guest list includes members of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's families, including relatives from Germany. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will attend but his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, will not make the trip from the US, on medical advice.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99, will have a ceremonial funeral, rather than a state funeral, with the coffin to be moved from the private chapel to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle. It will be placed on a modified Land Rover, that the duke himself helped design, to be carried the short distance to St George's Chapel.
The duke is reported to have requested a funeral of minimal fuss and has not laid in state - where members of the public would have been able to view his coffin. Covid restrictions on crowds and numbers attending funerals mean the ceremony - at 15:00 BST - will be much lower key than in more normal of times - although the Palace says this reflects the duke's wishes and it will still celebrate and reflect a life of service.
Coronavirus restrictions in England mean only 30 people, socially distanced, are allowed to attend funerals, with attendees expected to wear masks in line with government advice. The pallbearers and clergy are not included in the number of attendees. The televised event will be carried out in line with Coronavirus restrictions but there will be a military presence with personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF.
With the armed forces important to the duke – who served in the Royal Navy - they will play a part in his funeral, with military top brass present. Servicemen and women will be prominent tomorrow with some 730 members of the Armed Forces set be on parade.
The government confirmed that the period of national mourning will continue until after the funeral while a two-week period of royal mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, who will be undertaking appropriate engagements while wearing black mourning bands. There will be no public access for the funeral.
Away from the funeral, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award has announced that it is launching a new fund in memory of Prince Philip, which will give one million more young people the chance to take part in the programme he founded over the next five years.