Prince Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Saturday. It will be a televised event and people are being urged not to turn up at royal residences due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, led by the Queen’s Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, will issue invitations to 30 chosen guests, plan the event in minute detail and ensure the government’s coronavirus regulations are adhered to before, during and after the funeral.
Until the funeral takes place, Prince Philip will lie at rest in the private chapel at Windsor Castle, where he died last Friday. His coffin has been draped with his personal flag and a wreath of flowers has been placed on top.
On Saturday, the ceremony will begin at 2.40pm when the coffin will be carried out onto the Quadrangle and placed onto a modified Land Rover, which the duke himself helped design.
The procession will begin shortly after, at 2.45pm, and will be led by the band of Grenadier Guards. The Land Rover will be flanked by pallbearers from the Royal Marines and other regiments and corps Prince Philip is associated with.
Members of the royal family will walk behind the coffin, except the Queen, who will travel separately to the chapel for the funeral service.
The procession will travel from the Quadrangle to Chapel Hill and down to Horseshoe Cloister.
Personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force will line the route to the chapel.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire guns throughout the procession from the East Lawn and a bell will toll in the Curfew Tower.
The Land Rover will arrive at West Steps of St George’s Chapel at 2.53pm and will be met by a guard of honour and band from the Rifles Regiment. The national anthem will be played at this point.
As the coffin is carried up into the chapel, a Royal Navy “piping party” will play a nautical call known as “the Still”. Members of the Household Cavalry will line the West Steps as this takes place.
The Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury will meet the coffin inside the chapel for the service, followed by members of the royal family and the duke’s private secretary. The rest of the procession will remain outside.
All attendees who are permitted inside the chapel will have to wear face masks in line with Covid-19 regulations and be socially distanced. The 30 guests do not include the pallbearers and clergy.
At precisely 3pm, a minute’s silence will be held nationwide to pay tribute to Prince Philip.
The funeral service will begin as the coffin is carried to the Quire to be placed on a platform, called a catafalque.
On the altar inside the chapel, the duke’s insignia – medals and decorations that he was awarded in the UK and by Commonwealth countries – his Field Marshal’s baton, Royal Air Force Wings and insignia from Denmark and Greece will be on display.
Following the service, Prince Philip will be privately interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel. However, this will not be his final resting place.
The duke will be transferred to the King George VI memorial chapel when the Queen dies to lie beside her as his final resting place. The chapel also holds the remains of the Queen’s father George VI, her mother the Queen Mother and sister Princess Margaret.