Prince Philip funeral to take place on Saturday 17 April, palace announces

Royal funeral to be like no other due to Covid social distancing restrictions

Conrad Duncan@theconradduncan
Saturday 10 April 2021 17:17
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Prince Philip: Charles and Anne remember their father

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will take place on Saturday 17 April at 3pm in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace has announced.

A senior Palace official has said that the duke's coffin will be transported to the chapel in a specially-modified Land Rover he helped to design, and will be followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot.

“While this is naturally a time of sadness and mourning for the royal family and the many others who knew or 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 spokesperson said.

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband passed away on Friday, aged 99, two months before his 100th birthday - with a statement from the palace noting the Queen’s “deep sorrow” over the news.

The funeral will be notably affected by coronavirus restrictions, as only 30 people, in addition to the clergy, will be allowed to attend.

Members of the public have also been asked not to attempt to attend any of the funeral events, due to social distancing restrictions, or to leave flowers and tributes at royal residences.

Instead, the Royal Family website has asked people to consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes.

Gun salutes were fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday morning to mark the duke’s death.

The funeral comes amid a difficult time for the royal family following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, in which an unnamed member of the family was accused of racism.

However, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said on Saturday that a coming together for the duke’s funeral could help heal tensions, offering the family “a comparative bit of privacy” together.

“I think there might be a bit of consolation in it for the royal family actually because it just gives them a chance to be close and to have a comparative bit of privacy,” he told Times Radio.

“Obviously the whole ceremony will be watched by everybody but you think of the complexities of the dynamics in that family and we have to think of Harry, so far away. I’m sure he’ll come but not being, the whole time, in the public eye might just help.

“Many a family gather and get over tension and broken relationships at the time of a funeral. Something very profound unites them all again. And that would be true for this family, I’m sure.”

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