A week after his death, Prince Philip is being laid to rest Saturday with a funeral fit for a royal, but within the confines of Britain’s COVID-19 pandemic rules and in the “no fuss” manner the Duke of Edinburgh requested.
Hundreds of troops are marching into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the royal ceremonial funeral for Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of 73 years, who died April 9 at age 99.
More than 700 servicemen and servicewomen from the army, navy, air force and marines are to perform ceremonial roles in the funeral procession, reflecting Philip’s Royal Navy service and ties with the military.
They include soldiers of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who will fire a gun salute, Guards regiments in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats, Highlanders in kilts and sailors in white naval hats.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was is being placed on a customized Land Rover he helped design and is moving from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel as his children and grandchildren walk behind in formation: Prince Charles and his sister Princess Anne together, then Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, Prince William and Prince Harry, separated by their older cousin Peter Phillips, Vice Admiral Tim Lawrence and the Earl of Snowdon, and members of the duke’s staff will bring up the rear of the procession behind the coffin.
Queen Elizabeth II will ride in a state Bentley at the rear of the procession.
Regiments and units with links to Philip will line the route as his coffin is carried to St. George’s Chapel for the funeral service, while military bands will play hymns and classical tunes.
The half-mile route will be lined by military personnel from all services, guns fired from the East Lawn every minute throughout and a bell tolled in one of the towers at the west end of the castle. After a national minute of silence, Philip’s coffin will be met by the Dean of Windsor, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel and the Royal Navy pipers played “Carry On” as the coffin enters and the doors close behind.
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Due to pandemic restrictions, only the royal members of the family are allowed in the chapel for the service. In attendance are the queen, her heir Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, his sons, Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry Duke of Sussex, Charles’ and William’s duchess wives, Camilla and Kate, as well as Philip’s three other children, Princess Anne the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew Duke of York, and Prince Edward Earl of Wessex. Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, and Sophie Countess of Wessex are also in attendance.
His other grandchildren in attendance are Anne’s children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall; Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie and their husbands; and Edward’s children, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James Viscount Severn.
Though still elaborate, the duke’s final sendoff, which he helped devise, is much reduced from the usual ceremonial funeral (like the Queen Mother’s in 2002 and Princess Diana’s in 1997) as a result COVID-19.
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Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY; The Associated Press