The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be a profound chance for the Queen to say farewell to her husband of 73 years, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Justin Welby said "She will behave with the extraordinary dignity, extraordinary courage that she always does." At the ceremony, there will only be 30 mourners in line with coronavirus restrictions.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen had faced some very difficult decisions in selecting the mourners from the 800-strong congregation originally planned, and she wanted all branches of her husband's family to be represented.

Mr Welby said many people had seen family members die in the Covid pandemic this year and the funeral service would resonate very deeply for a lot of people. He said: "I think there will be tears in many homes because other names will be on their minds, faces they've lost that they don't see again, funerals they couldn't go to as many haven't been able to go to this one because it is limited to 30 in the congregation. That will break many a heart."

Mr Welby said he expected the Queen at the service to behave with the extraordinary dignity, extraordinary courage that she always does. He added: "And at the same time she is saying farewell to someone to whom she was married for 73 years.

“I think that must be a very, very profound thing... in anybody's life." The archbishop, who will pronounce the blessing at the funeral service, suggested that people of faith could pray for the Queen, or alternatively sympathise and in their hearts offer their condolences to her and the hope for her to find strength in what must be an anguished moment.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex and their daughter Lady Louise Windsor viewed flowers and cards left in memory of Prince Philip at Windsor Castle. Earlier, the head of the UK's armed forces said the funeral will have the duke's "fingerprints all over it, reflecting his wide interests and his attention to detail." Gen Sir Nick Carter, chief of defence staff, said: "It's obviously been slightly affected by Covid, but nonetheless it will reflect military precision."

Sir Nick also hailed the extraordinary war record of Prince Philip - who served in the Royal Navy in World War Two - and the dozens of different military decorations and awards he had. "I think people will realise that this is a life worth looking into and I think they will be surprised by what he achieved and what he did in his 99 years," he said.

The Queen decided that there will be no military uniforms worn by members of the Royal Family, and those attending will instead wear morning coats with medals, or day dress.