Prince Philip’s funeral: No state funeral due to COVID-19 restrictions

An old photo of the Queen and Prince Philip with their children
An old photo of the Queen and Prince Philip with their children

Prince Philip will be laid to rest today with a custom looking somewhat different to previous royal funerals — a resolution down to Philip’s own wishes and the coronavirus pandemic.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who died last week aged 99, was known for requiring a “no fuss” affair, having previously said no to his body being laid in state.

He also won’t be getting a state funeral – something usually reserved for monarchs – but will be having a formal royal funeral complying with England’s COVID restrictions instead.

What will happen today?

On Saturday, at 3:40 pm, the Duke’s box will be moved from its current resting place in a private church at Windsor Castle to the State Entrance. Following a Royal Salute from members of the royal family, he will then begin his journey to St George’s Chapel for the funeral itself.

The coffin will be carried to the church upon a custom-built Land Rover hearse that Philip had gone on himself over 16 years. He performed the last changes in 2019.

Several family members will attend en route, including his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, in the State Bentley and with others on foot. 

This will include the queen and Duke’s four kids, Princess Anne and Princes Charles, Edward and Andrew; three of their grandchildren, Princes William and Harry, and Peter Phillips; their nephew, the Earl of Snowdon; and Princess Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Representatives from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, and 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force will also line the route, while the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.

Minute guns will be fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the East Lawn.

As the coffin arrives at the chapel’s West Steps, the national anthem will play, and the bearer party will carry it to the entrance. They will then pause for a national minute of silence.

The Royal Navy Piping Party will pipe the “Carry On” as the Dean of Windsor, and the Archbishop of Canterbury receive the coffin and the chapel doors close.

After the 50-minute service, which will add a small choir singing four pieces picked by the Duke himself, his coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault.