Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will attend his grandfather’s funeral, but his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex will be absent, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. The couple live in California and a doctor advised the pregnant duchess not to travel to the UK, the spokesman said.
Philip’s long-standing funeral plans have been adjusted to meet certain Covid-19 restrictions, with all common elements related to public contact removed. The College of Arms, which oversees many ceremonial aspects of the royal family’s work, had previously confirmed that the Duke would be nowhere in a public condition for thousands of people to line up to see his coffin.
The current Covid rules in England limit the number of people who can attend funerals to 30.
Alluding to the Duke’s preference to drive without a chauffeur, his coffin is carried by a Land Rover from Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel for the ceremony.
The procession begins at 2.45 p.m. (9.45 a.m. CET) and is led from Windsor Castle by a group of grenadier guards along with several heads of military units. A Royal Navy Piping Party will conduct “The Still” while the Land Rover is stationed at the foot of the West Steps. Before the ceremony there will be a gun salute and a minute’s silence at 3 p.m.
The Duke’s death has been grimly marked as the royal household and the UK government have asked the public not to collect or leave flowers in royal residences as the country is still under strict Covid-19 restrictions.
But gun salutes were held across the country as batteries fired 41 rounds per minute at Windsor Castle, the Tower of London in the capital, and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, among others.Australia, a Commonwealth nation, paid a gun salute in front of the parliament building in the capital, Canberra, on Saturday morning.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a televised statement acknowledging that the Duke “deserved the affection of generations here in the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world” and lived by an ethic of service.
“Like the seasoned coachman he was, he helped steer the royal family and monarchy so that it remains the institution undeniably important to the balance of our national path. He has long been an environmentalist and advocate of the natural world before it was fashionable, “said Johnson.
The BBC has set up a special feedback form due to the high number of complaints within a few hours of the news from Buckingham Palace.
The special coverage had caused some of the UK’s most watched shows, including the soap opera EastEnders and the finals of the MasterChef cooking competition, to go off the air.
But the nation is officially in mourning eight days from now, as announced Friday, and there will be other tributes to the Duke in public life.
English Premier League players will wear black armbands and “there will be a minute’s silence before kick-off in all Premier League games … over the weekend,” the organization has announced.
The bells of London’s Westminster Abbey, where Prince Philip married Queen Elizabeth more than 70 years ago, rang 99 times in his honor on Friday evening, while the British flag – the Union Jack – waved half-staffed government buildings.
Tributes to a Life of Service
Harry and Meghan said his grandfather would be “very much missed” in a statement following news of his death.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said the “whole nation will be united in sadness at the death of Prince Philip,” adding that he should be “recognized as the remarkable and unwavering support of the Queen for so many years” but also “celebrated on his own.” “become right as a man of foresight, determination and courage. “
Honors for the Duke also came from around the world, including the Commonwealth of India, Australia, and Canada. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had “an outstanding career in the military and has been at the forefront of many charitable initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Philip embodied “a generation we will never see again”. Canada’s Justin Trudeau said: “Prince Philip was a man of great purpose and conviction, motivated by a sense of duty to others. He will be fondly remembered as a constant in our Queen’s life.”
US President Joe Biden said Philip was “happy to dedicate himself to the people of Britain, the Commonwealth and his families” and that his legacy will “live on not just through his family but in all the goodwill he has designed”. “”
‘Constant strength and leadership’
Philip married then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after doing an outstanding service in the Royal Navy during World War II. Together they had four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward – eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
When Elizabeth in February 1952 after the death of her father George VI. Ascended to the throne, Philip’s life began as a royal consort.
Over the decades, Philip often accompanied the Queen on royal engagements and conducted thousands of his own solo appearances. He once described herself as “the most skilled plaque revelator in the world” while the Queen praised him for her “constant strength and leadership”.
Philip performed publicly well into the 1990s and didn’t retire until August 2017.
From then on, he was rarely seen in public, especially at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and at the wedding of Princess Eugenie in October 2018 and Princess Beatrice in July 2020.
CNN’s Lauren Moorhouse, James Frater, Lindsay Isaac, and David Wilkinson contributed to this report.