First details for Prince Philip's funeral announced
His funeral will not be a state funeral and the public will not be allowed to attend. The late royal will lie in rest at Windsor Castle, in line with his wishes, before a ceremony at St George’s Chapel.
WATCH: Prince Philip has passed away aged 99
Details were announced on the College of Arms' website just hours after Prince Philip's death was confirmed. The statement reads: "The funeral will not be a State Funeral and will not be preceded by a Lying-in-State. His Royal Highness’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George's Chapel. This is in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes.
"The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral."
State funerals are only usually reserved for the sovereign. According to protocol, as the Queen's consort, Philip is to be honoured with a ceremonial royal funeral, as the Queen Mother was in 2002.
Prince Philip helped draw up the details of his funeral and was determined there should be a minimum of fuss. It has long been known the Queen has final approval of the plans, which are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Buckingham Palace have since said in a statement: "With the safety and wellbeing of the public in mind, and in accordance with Government guidelines, members of the public are asked not to gather in crowds. Those wishing to express their condolences are asked to do so in the safest way possible, and not to gather at Royal Residences.
Prince Philip died on Friday in Windsor Castle
"During this time 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 of Edinburgh.
"An online Book of Condolence for those who wish to leave messages is available on the Royal website (www.royal.uk)."
The coronavirus pandemic will no doubt have a major impact on the carefully laid plans for the funeral. With restrictions still in place amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the public elements of the final farewell to the Queen's consort will not be able to take place in their original form.
Under the earlier arrangements for the coming days, thousands of people would have been expected to flock to London and Windsor, with some even camping out overnight to get the best vantage points, for a military procession of Philip's coffin on the day of his funeral.
Hundreds of members of the armed forces would have been called upon to line the streets in honour of the duke, along with thousands of police officers to keep control of crowds and protect the members of the royal family taking part.
The Queen and her children and grandchildren will enter a period of mourning for their patriarch, which could last several weeks.
Official engagements, most of which are presently online, can continue during this time, although most are postponed or cancelled, but it depends on the wishes of the monarch. In non-pandemic times, social engagements would usually be cancelled, except those for charitable causes.
Following a royal death and during other periods of national mourning, Union flags are now flown at half-mast on royal buildings where the monarch is not in residence.
It has since been revealed that all official flags, including the Union Flag, will be flown at half-mast from now until 8am on the day following the funeral.
The late royal is the longest-serving consort in British history
Flags may be flown overnight during this period but should remain at half-mast. Official flags in this instance are defined as Union Flags, the national flags of the home nations, ensigns and ships' colours.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who was the longest-serving consort in British history, died on 9 April after a spell of health scares earlier in the year.
The Duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side. He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.
The Palace said in a statement: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces 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. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
Meanwhile, a memorial service – not something the Duke wanted – could be held at a later date after the nation has dealt with the pandemic.
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