UNITED KINGDOM. London: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip died last week at the age of 99. The news was given just after midday on Friday, April 7, by Buckingham Palace.
The funerals will take place on Saturday, April 17, at Windsor Castle and it has been said that the Duke wanted little fuss at the service, thus a state funeral wasn’t in line with his wishes.
On Friday, The Royal Family wrote on Twitter: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
The arrangements for Prince Philip’s funeral have been in place for years, under the codename of Operation Forth Bridge, “after the Scottish landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site”, as Sky News reports.
However, final changes have been made to comply with the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place in the U.K.
Only 30 people will attend
In line with the coronavirus restrictions, only 30 people will attend. In the original arrangements around 800 people were set to be invited.
The Telegraph has speculated that the Queen will be joined, alongside senior members of the family, including Prince Harry who flew from California, by the rest of the Duke’s grandchildren: Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.
Other potential guests -according to the Telegraph- could be Lady Pamela Hicks, the Duke’s first cousin, Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, and other members of the extended family, including Princess Margaret’s children.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced he won’t attend, to allow as many members of the family as possible to go.
Furthermore, no public processions will take place: people have been urged to not gather outside royal residences
The Royal Family wrote on Twitter: “During the current public health situation, Books of Condolence will not be available for the public to sign. The Royal Family ask that members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke.”
Prince Philip will be interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel at Windsor. When the Queen dies, he will be transferred to the gothic church’s King George VI, where he will rest alongside his wife.
“He was, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years”
Messages of condolences and tributes have been shared online from all around the globe, but also from all the members of the Royal Family.
Buckingham Palace shared on Twitter a part of a speech the Queen gave in 1997. When talking about her husband she said: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
Prince Harry in a statement said: “He was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ‘til the end.”
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s Twitter account shared an emotional speech by the Prince of Wales, who paid his tribute to his “dear Papa”: “The Prince of Wales pays tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh on behalf of The Royal Family.”
The Royal Family will now observe two weeks of royal mourning until April 22.