Queen likely to sit alone at Prince Philip’s funeral

Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral to take place on Saturday 17 April at 3pm

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 14 April 2021 10:24 BST
(Getty Images)
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Louise Thomas

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The Queen is expected to have to sit alone at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday, due to Covid regulations and rules on support bubbles.

Prince Philip died on Friday 9 April at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle and will have a small funeral of 30 people due to the ongoing pandemic and restrictions.

Despite the family rallying around Her Majesty, on Saturday, the Queen will have to maintain social distancing from those outside of her household.

This means she is likely to be sat on her own as government rules state she will need to be at least two metres away from those in other households.

The only exception is if houses form support bubbles, but as the Queen does not live alone - she has a team of staff - she is not expected to qualify for this exemption.

She could sit next to someone from within the Windsor household staff if they are in attendance.

The government website states that funeral ceremonies must have no more than 30 people attending, whether indoors or outdoors. This number does not include anyone working at the event, such as clergy.

However, it adds that this number may vary.

“The actual number of people able to attend will depend on how many people can be safely accommodated within the venue with social distancing, and where the funeral venue manager or event organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

“In some cases, this may be fewer than 30 people.”

It is not yet known who will be in attendance on Saturday.

However, it’s likely that all of the Queen’s close relatives will attend.

This will include her four children: the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, in addition to their children.

The Duke of Sussex has flown in from Los Angeles for the occasion.

It will be the first time Prince Harry has seen his family since his bombshell interview with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, and Oprah Winfrey.

The Queen has already returned to work since Prince Philip’s death, having held a ceremony to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, the Earl Peel, who stood down as Lord Chamberlain.

The official engagement was recorded in the Court Circular - a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and her family - which confirmed the Queen’s attendance.

It stated: “The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain.”

The Independent has contacted Buckingham Palace for further comment.

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