Prince Philip’s final farewell will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family following guidelines and wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to pay tribute.
Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed in Britain as it begins at 3pm.
The duke’s coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot.
The Queen has approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recommendation of a national week of mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until the day of the funeral.
Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests.
Prince Harry is planning to return to London for the funeral, the palace confirmed.
But Meghan Markle has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.
It is understood Duchess of Sussex made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend the funeral to make room for as many family members as possible under pandemic rules, which limit funerals to 30 guests.
Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair.
All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled. It will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.
The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.