Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who had been by his wife's side throughout her record-breaking 69-year reign, died peacefully at the age of 99 last week at the castle where the royal couple had been staying during a recent lockdown.A decorated Royal Navy veteran of World War Two, his funeral, much of which was planned in meticulous detail by the prince himself, has a strong military feel, with personnel from across the armed forces playing prominent roles.
AdvertisementArmy bands, Navy pipers and Royal Marine buglers will take part, while his coffin will be conveyed from its resting place inside the castle to the chapel on the back of a specially-converted Land Rover that he helped design himself.At 1400 GMT, before the service starts, there will be a minute's silence.
The congregation will be limited to members of the royal family and Philip's family, with no place for political figures such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will watch the event on television where it will be broadcast live.The entire event will be held within the walls of Windsor Castle and the public have been asked not to congregate outside or at any other royal residences to show their respects. headtopics.com
READ: UK PM hails Philip's 'extraordinary life' as tributes pour inCRISESWith a reputation for a tough, no-nonsense attitude and a propensity for occasional gaffes, Philip was credited with helping his wife, who he married in 1947, modernise the monarchy in the changing post-war period, and to deal with the many crises that befell the institution.
Last month, the royals faced their greatest such tumult in decades when Prince Harry, grandson of Elizabeth and Philip, gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey with his wife Meghan, who is not attending the funeral as she is heavily pregnant and was advised not to travel.
The couple, who moved to Los Angeles and quit royal duties last year, accused one unnamed royal of making a racist comment, and said Meghan's pleas for help when she felt suicidal were ignored.Much media attention will focus on the royals' behaviour towards Harry, as it will be his first public appearance with his family since that interview.
He will walk apart from his brother Prince William in the procession behind Philip's coffin, separated by their cousin Peter Phillips.READ: BBC receives nearly 110,000 complaints about Prince Philip coverageMourners will eschew the tradition of wearing military uniforms, with newspapers saying that was to prevent embarrassment to Harry. headtopics.com
Despite serving two tours in Afghanistan during his army career, he would not be entitled to wear a uniform having been stripped of his honorary military titles."We're not going to be drawn into those perceptions of drama, or anything like that," a Buckingham Palace spokesman said."This is a funeral. The arrangements have been agreed, and they represent her majesty's wishes."
The palace has emphasised that while the occasion would have the due pageantry that marks the passing of a senior royal, it remained an occasion for a mourning family to mark the passing of a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.The couple's second son Prince Andrew has said his mother was being stoical in the face of a loss that she had described as"having left a huge void in her life".
"It's a great loss," he said."I think the way I would put it is, we've lost almost the grandfather of the nation." Read more: CNA »
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