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 Fortress. His send-off shall be extremely uncommon — partly as a result of coronavirus restrictions meant the ceremony needed to be scaled again, but additionally 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 company on the church service. The queen and choose relations will all be sporting masks and seated six ft aside.
The subdued service will mirror not solely the truth of life in a pandemic, but additionally Philip’s personal needs for the ceremony, Buckingham Palace mentioned in an announcement 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 Fortress to the fortress’s Interior Corridor, the place prayers shall be mentioned.
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 many years, will place his coffin on a hearse that the prince helped design. The automobile, a modified Land Rover Defender, will then lead a small procession towards St. George’s Chapel, additionally on the grounds of Windsor Fortress.
The method of designing the hearse started 18 years in the past, and tweaks had been nonetheless being made up till 2019. The open-top rear part was custom-made to Philip’s specs, and the unique automobile was repainted “darkish bronze inexperienced,” typical of navy use, at his request.
Philip served within the Royal Navy, seeing fight throughout World Warfare 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. Quite a lot of different navy teams shall be represented throughout the procession, and a crew 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 navy titles are anticipated to put on fits displaying their medals moderately than uniforms, reportedly in deference to Prince Harry, who was pressured to surrender his navy titles when he stepped away from royal duties.
The queen will arrive on the chapel by automotive. 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 wherein 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 far from the seated company, according to public well being pointers, Buckingham Palace mentioned.
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 dying will stay that manner till Sunday.