Prince Philip: Funeral for Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth, to be held at Windsor Castle

Philip, also known as The Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99 on April 9 at Windsor Castle. He was the country’s longest-serving husband – the name used to describe the wife of a reigning monarch – and had been married to the Queen for 73 years.

The funeral service will be a muted case, by Royal standards, and will take place at St. George’s Chapel, which is within the grounds of Windsor Castle, at 3 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).

Participants will include senior members of the royal family as well as relatives and close friends of the Duke, including Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden, Penny Brabourne, Countess Mountbatten of Burma and Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse.

But while the ceremony will be limited to 30 people inside, in line with England’s current coronavirus restrictions, more than 700 servicemen will provide ceremonial support outside in honor of Prince Philip’s decorated military career. Members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force will all be in attendance.

Philip maintained close ties to the military community throughout his life after completing his naval service in 1953, including serving as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

The funeral ceremony

Ahead of the ceremony, the Duke’s coffin – which will be draped in his personal flag, and will have his sword, naval cap, and floral wreath resting on top – will be taken to the Chapel at Windsor Castle in a procession led by the Band of Grenadier Guards.

In agreement with the Duke wishes, the coffin will be carried by a modified Land Rover, which he helped design.

The vehicle will be followed in a walking procession by senior family members including Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William and Prince Harry. They will all be dressed in civilian clothes.

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Some of the Duke’s closest associates, including his private secretary and personal protection officer, will also march in the procession.

Meanwhile, the rest of the congregation, including Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge; Princess Beatrice; Princess Eugenie and other family members will arrive at the chapel by car.

Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, will not be present after her doctor advised against international travel.

The queen will arrive at the chapel separately, accompanied by a lady-in-waiting.

A lifetime of service

Firearms will be fired at one-minute intervals and the curfew tower bell will ring before the funeral service, while a national minute of silence will mark its start.

Inside the chapel, all members of the congregation will wear a face mask, as dictated by public health rules.

The Duke was intimately involved in planning his own funeral service, selecting the music and ensuring that the ceremony reflected his military affiliations and personal interests.

The service will be led by the Dean of Windsor, The Right Reverend David Conner and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and is expected to last 50 minutes. Among the readings there will be Ecclesiasticus 43 and John 11.

A four-person choir accompanied by the organ will sing pieces selected by the Duke, including “Jubilate in C” by Benjamin Britten, a piece he commissioned for St George’s Chapel Choir. In accordance with the coronavirus restrictions, the congregation will not sing with the choir.

The choir will also sing an adaptation of Psalm 104, which the Duke has asked to be set to music by William Lovelady. The piece was sung at a concert celebrating Prince Philip’s 75th birthday.

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The Dean will then give the Commendation and the Duke’s coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault, where many members of the Royal Family have been buried. The vault, located under the chapel, was built by George III, who is one of the many kings buried inside.

The safe won’t be Philip’s last resting place. When the Queen dies, he will be transferred to the King George VI Memorial Chapel to lie down next to her.

At the Duke’s request, the end of the funeral service will be marked by the bugles of the Royal Marines sounding “Action Stations,” an announcement that would traditionally be made on a naval warship to signify that all hands should go to battle stations.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will then pronounce the Blessing. The ceremony will then end with the national anthem.

Tributes to Prince Philip poured in from well-wishers from all over the world, many of whom commented on the Duke’s extraordinary life and his service to the Queen.

Born in 1921 in Greece as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, his family was forced into exile when the Greek monarchy was overthrown in a military revolt while he was still a baby.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1939, the same year he first met Elizabeth, and served in World War II. They married in 1947 and, following the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952, he relinquished his rank of lieutenant commander to support her in her royal duties.

He played an active role in the royal family before stepping down from public engagements in 2017.

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The royal family entered a two-week period of mourning after his death and many UK broadcasters have postponed key programs as a sign of respect.

Talking about his grandfather after returning to the UK last week, Prince Harry said he was “a man of service, honor and great humor … with a very sharp wit”.

Harry’s brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, said Prince Philip was an “extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation” with a “contagious sense of adventure”.

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CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Laura Smith-Spark, Angela Dewan, Sarah Dean, Luke McGee, and Eoin McSweeney contributed to this report.

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