UK

Queen leads royals at Prince Philip’s funeral as she bids farewell to husband

The Queen has arrived at St George’s Chapel for the funeral of Prince Philip as she prepares to say goodbye to her husband of 73 years.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen will be praised at the ceremony in Windsor, as well as his “courage, fortitude and faith”.

A small group of Philip’s close family and friends are attending the televised funeral service, which will begin after a national minute’s silence at 3pm.

Live stream and updates from Prince Philip’s funeral

The list for Prince Philip's funeral has been released
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Prince Philip’s funeral is being held in Windsor
Fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm pullling the Duke of Edinburgh's driving carriage arrive for the funeral of the Duke in Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Picture date: Saturday April 17, 2021.
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The Duke of Edinburgh’s driving carriage arrives at his funeral

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Windsor Castle early on Saturday afternoon.

William and Kate sat side-by-side in the back of a car, both dressed in black and wearing face masks.

Charles was also wearing a mask as his car entered the grounds of the castle ahead of the service, while Camilla arrived separately.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury, who will preside over the service with the Dean of Windsor, was seen entering the Chapel.

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge leave Kensington Palace for Windsor Castle. Pic: Beretta/Sims/Shutterstock

17 Apr 2021
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave Kensington Palace for Windsor Castle. Pic: Beretta/Sims/Shutterstock

17 Apr 2021

The Duchess of Cambridge arriving outside St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh. Picture date: Saturday April 17, 2021.
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The Duchess of Cambridge arriving outside St George’s Chapel,

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the Queen will sit alone during the funeral of her husband, who died at Windsor Castle on Friday 9 April at the age of 99.

Although members of the public have been urged not to gather in Windsor for the funeral, some have been visiting the town, bathed in bright spring sunshine, to pay their respects and leave flowers at the castle gates.

Britain's Prince Charles arrives at the back of the Windsor Castle for the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 99, in Windsor, near London, Britain, April 17, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
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Prince Charles arrives at Windsor Castle for his father’s funeral

On the eve of the funeral, a touching photograph was released of the Queen and duke giving a glimpse of their lives away from protocol.

The royal couple are pictured as they are rarely seen – relaxing together during a summer break and enjoying the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands on the Balmoral estate.

The Queen has released a photo of herself and her husband relaxing in the Scottish Highlands in 2003. Pic: The Countess of Wessex
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Philip and the Queen relax on the grass at the Coyles of Muick in 2003. Pic: The Countess of Wessex

Looking completely at ease and smiling warmly at the photographer, Philip and the Queen relax on the grass at the Coyles of Muick, a beauty spot near the town of Ballater in Aberdeenshire.

The Poet Laureate has published The Patriarchs – An Elegy, which pays tribute to Philip’s distinguished career in the Royal Navy and refers to his generation as “husbands to duty” and “great-grandfathers from birth”.

The congregation at Philip’s funeral has been limited to just 30 people due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Guards and military personnel assemble at Windsor

Among the attendees are the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen and Philip’s other children, their grandchildren including the Duke of Cambridge and Harry, three of Philip’s German relatives, three of the Queen’s cousins and Philip’s carriage driving companion Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will watch the service on a television from Chequers.

Social distancing will be observed, and masks will be worn during the service.

The Prince of Wales and Princess Royal will lead the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and other family members walking behind the duke’s coffin, carried on a Land Rover hearse he helped design, during the funeral procession which the Queen will join, travelling by car.

The Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh
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The Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh

Although there is no sermon – as per the duke’s request – the service will be a highly religious one.

Several hymns will be sung by a small chorus of three choristers and a soprano, and Bible passages will be read out.

Among the songs picked out is the hymn Eternal Father, Strong To Save, traditionally associated with members of the navy like the Duke of Edinburgh.

It was also sung at the funeral of his beloved uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979.

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The route of Prince Philip’s funeral procession

No members of the Royal Family will give a reading, and attendees have also been forbidden from singing.

In the Bidding, the Dean of Windsor will say: “With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us.”

“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.

“Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity.”

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Duke planned ‘every detail’ of funeral

The order of service is similar to the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002.

Not having a lingering funeral was also in line with the duke’s wishes.

Earlier this week, Harry said of his grandfather: “I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!'”

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Harry and William will not walk next to each other during the funeral procession.

The brothers will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips as they walk behind their grandfather’s coffin, which will be carried by a Land Rover hearse designed by Prince Philip himself.

Nearby Heathrow Airport has said it will not land planes for six minutes to coincide with the period of quiet.

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