The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will highlight his “courage, fortitude and faith,” according to details released by Buckingham Palace on the eve of the service.

Officials also disclosed that, in keeping with Prince Philip’s wishes, there will be no sermon delivered during the ceremonial royal service.

The Queen’s husband of 74 years died on Friday 9 April, aged 99, at Windsor Castle. His funeral will be held at the ground’s chapel, St George’s, on Saturday.

While the funeral would normally have been a state affair, Covid restrictions mean it was significantly pared down.

Other aspects of Philip’s character, such as his long association with the Royal Navy and love of the sea, flood the order of service which Buckingham Palace shared ahead of Saturday’s proceedings.

Music chosen by the duke includes the hymn “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” – traditionally associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services.

The song, written in 1860, was inspired by the dangers of the sea described in Psalm 107, and was sung at the funeral of Philip’s beloved uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by an IRA bomb on his boat in 1979.

Meanwhile, as part of the bidding prayer, the dean of Windsor will pay tribute to Philip’s “kindness, humour and humanity.”

“With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us,” he will say. “We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.”

The dean will also tell the congregation that “our lives have been enriched through the challenges [Philip] has set us” and “the encouragement that he has given us”.

Despite there being no sermon, the service will feature many religious aspects, including:

  • a psalm which Philip requested should be set to music and which was first sung in honour of his 75th birthday,
  • a lesson by the dean of Windsor, which tells of “those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them – in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea monsters”,
  • a jubilate which was written for St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, at Philip’s request.

On Friday, the Queen shared one of her favourite pictures of herself with the Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of her husband’s funeral.

The royal couple were pictured as they are rarely seen, relaxing together away from public duties and enjoying the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands.

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The Queen shared an intimate picture herself relaxing the Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of her husband’s funeral

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The Queen shared an intimate picture herself relaxing the Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of her husband’s funeral


Buckingham Palace also tweeted four images of the Duke of Edinburgh with his family and said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was a loving husband and a devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

“The Queen and The Duke’s enduring marriage has seen them support each other through many years of Royal duties and raising a family together.”

A detailed timeline of the schedule for the funeral service was released on Thursday:

11am: The coffin, which will be covered with Prince Philip’s personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, will be moved from the private chapel to the inner hall of Windsor Castle.

2pm: The lord chamberlain, the constable and governor of Windsor Castle and the dean of Windsor will be present in the inner hall.

2.10pm: The dean will say prayers before leaving by car to St George’s Chapel.

By 2.15pm: Representatives from the services are in place in the quadrangle to show Philip’s special military relationships. The area will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.

2.17pm: The band of the Grenadier Guards will be in Engine Court.

Between 2.20pm and 2.27pm: Members of the royal family and Philip’s relatives who are not taking part in the procession will leave Windsor Castle and make their way to the chapel.

2.27pm: The Land Rover on which the coffin will be placed enters the quadrangle while bands at the site begin to play music.

2.38pm: The coffin is lifted in the inner hall.

2.40pm: Members of Philip’s household take up their positions in the procession and the bands stop playing music.

2.41pm: The coffin emerges from the state entrance and is met by members of the royal family who are walking in the procession. A royal salute is given and the coffin is placed on the Land Rover.

2.44pm: The Queen, accompanied by a lady-in-waiting, leaves from the sovereign’s entrance in the state Bentley as the national anthem is played.

2.45pm: The procession, which is planned to take eight minutes, sets off.

The firing of minute guns by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the sound of the curfew tower bell will sound as members of the royal family who are already at St George’s Chapel stand to view the procession.

The Queen will be received by the dean of Windsor who will show the mourners at the service to their seats.

2.53pm: The Land Rover arrives at the foot of the west steps of the chapel. A Royal Navy piping party will sound once the Land Rover stops and the pall bearers take their positions.

The coffin will be carried up the steps and halt on the second landing as members of the royal family take their positions on the steps.

3pm: The national minute’s silence, signalled by a gun fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, takes place.

After the minute’s silence, the coffin is placed on the catafalque in the quire and members of the royal family who have walked in the procession will take their places for the service, which is set to last 50 minutes and will be conducted by the dean of Windsor.

By 4pm: After the service, the Queen and members of the royal family and Philip’s relatives will leave the chapel via the Galilee porch.

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