Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II who died final week at age 99, shall be laid to relaxation on Saturday after a funeral service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Citadel. His send-off shall be extremely uncommon — partly as a result of coronavirus restrictions meant the ceremony needed to be scaled again, but in addition as a result of it comes simply after a really public airing of a household rift.
Pandemic guidelines in Britain have meant that the funeral shall be pared down, with changes that embrace a restrict of 30 friends on the church service. The queen and choose members of the family will all be carrying masks and seated six toes aside.
The subdued service will replicate not solely the fact of life in a pandemic, but in addition Philip’s personal needs for the ceremony, Buckingham Palace stated in a press release this week. The prince was deeply concerned within the group of the occasion, which was years within the planning.
Earlier than the ceremony — which shall be live-streamed from nytimes.com and on this briefing from about 2:30-4 p.m. London time — Philip’s coffin shall be moved on Saturday afternoon from a non-public chapel in Windsor Citadel to the citadel’s Internal Corridor, the place prayers shall be stated.
The ceremony shall be wealthy with symbolism and nods to Philip’s lifetime of service to the royal household and to the nation. The Grenadier Guards, a centuries-old regiment of the British Military, which the Duke of Edinburgh served as a colonel for greater than 4 a long time, will place his coffin on a hearse that the prince helped design. The car, a modified Land Rover Defender, will then lead a small procession towards St. George’s Chapel, additionally on the grounds of Windsor Citadel.
The method of designing the hearse started 18 years in the past, and tweaks have been nonetheless being made up till 2019. The open-top rear part was custom-made to Philip’s specs, and the unique car was repainted “darkish bronze inexperienced,” typical of army use, at his request.
Philip served within the Royal Navy, seeing fight throughout World Struggle II, and his naval cap and sword shall be positioned on his coffin earlier than the funeral service. The coffin shall be draped in his private flag, which pays tribute to his Greek heritage and his British titles. A wide range of different army teams shall be represented through the procession, and a group of Royal Marines will carry the coffin into St. George’s Chapel.
Members of the royal household — together with Philip’s 4 kids, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward, and a few of his grandchildren, together with William and Harry — will stroll behind the coffin as it’s pushed to the chapel. These with honorary army titles are anticipated to put on fits displaying their medals relatively than uniforms, reportedly in deference to Prince Harry, who was pressured to surrender his army titles when he stepped away from royal duties.
The queen will arrive on the chapel by automobile. Earlier than the service begins, there shall be a nationwide minute of silence at 3 p.m. native time.
There was a lot hypothesis about how the household dynamic would play out, because the funeral would be the first time that Prince Harry has returned to Britain since stepping down as a senior royal. The service additionally comes simply weeks after he and his spouse, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, gave a bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey through which they laid naked their issues with the royal household.
The funeral service will final lower than an hour, and Prince Charles is anticipated to ship the eulogy. A choir of 4 will sing music chosen by Prince Philip. They are going to be positioned a long way from the seated friends, according to public well being pointers, Buckingham Palace stated.
His physique will then be interred within the royal vault in St George’s Chapel. Flags in Britain which have flown at half-staff at royal residences since his demise will stay that method till Sunday.