Inside Prince Philip's Low-Key Funeral Plans, Duke Will Be Laid To Rest On April 17 In Televised Event
Prince Philip will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, a royal official revealed.
The funeral will take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle at 3 p.m. U.K. time (10 a.m. ET) and will be televised.
Queen Elizabeth II has signed off on the plans, but they "still very much reflect the personal wishes of the Duke. The occasion will still celebrate and recognize the Duke's life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the U.K. and the Commonwealth."
The late duke — who died on Friday, April 9, at 99 years old — will have a low-key ceremony due to COVID-19 guidelines, and it will be "reduced in scale with no public access," a palace spokesperson said.
Philip's coffin will be "covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard and dressed with a wreath of flowers, is resting in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it will remain until the day of the funeral."
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It will be the be moved to a Bearer Party. "Positioned in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle there will be representative detachments drawn from His Royal Highness’s military special relationships," the palace said.
His coffin will be carried in "a purpose-built Land Rover — which The Duke was involved in the design of — flanked by military Pall Bearers, in a small Ceremonial Procession from the State Entrance to St George’s Chapel, for the service."
The coffin will then be taken to the top of the West Steps of St George's Chapel by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Only 30 people will be able to attend the funeral, which "will very much reflect the personal wishes of the Duke." Members of the royal family, including Prince Harry — but not Meghan Markle — Prince William, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II and more will be in attendance.
"While this is naturally a time of sadness and mourning for the royal family and the many others who knew and admired the Duke of Edinburgh, it is hoped that the coming days will also be seen as an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable life: Remarkable both in terms of his vast contribution and lasting legacy," a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
Ultimately, Philip didn't want to make a big fuss about the funeral plans.
"A state funeral is what Prince Philip is entitled to as the queen's consort, and it would be a day of mourning for the country but would involve heads of state from around the world being invited to congregate at Westminster Abbey to remember his life," royal expert Omid Scobie told Entertainment Tonight about the duke's final wishes. "It is something that we last saw with Princess Diana's funeral, the whole world stood still for that moment. With Prince Philip, he has asked for a much more quieter event. He has asked, in his words, a simple affair and that is exactly what is happening at the ceremonial service that will take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle."
Philip made sure to tell others what he wanted, which included working closely with the Lord Chamberlain's office at Buckingham Palace "to ensure that it wasn't a blown-up affair, and that means that it won't be a state funeral. Instead, it will be a royal ceremonial funeral, which will be a much more private affair."
"This will really give a chance for the royals to remember his life in a very peaceful and quiet way. It also avoids the worries that the government have over people congregating during the time of the pandemic," Scobie continued. "For Prince Philip, this is exactly what he wanted. It's a send-off that he had asked for."