What happens next? Plans for Prince Philip’s funeral

What happens next?  Plans for Prince Philip's funeral

Prince Philip died on Friday at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace announced. (Deposit)


As a senior royal, Prince Philip’s death triggers a period of national mourning and the implementation of a well-prepared protocol.

For official planning purposes, the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral preparations have been named “Forth Bridge”, after the historic passage near the Scottish capital.

The preparations for the funeral of his wife Queen Elizabeth II are codenamed “London Bridge”. His eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, is “Menai Bridge”, after the suspension bridge in North West Wales.

All of them have been mentioned in the Netflix drama series “The Crown”.

No state funeral

Hours after the news of Philip’s death was announced, Buckingham Palace said arrangements for his funeral and other official commemorative events were “under consideration” by the Queen.

“Details will be confirmed in due course,” he added, asking the public “not to gather in crowds” to express their condolences.

However, the Royal College of Arms, a heraldry organization closely involved in the implementation of royal protocols and proclamations, has detailed some of the expected formalities.

“The funeral will not be a state funeral and will not be preceded by a lie in the state,” he said on his website.

“The body of His Royal Highness will be laid to rest in Windsor Castle prior to the funeral in St George’s Chapel. This is in accordance with the custom and wishes of His Royal Highness.”

He noted that funeral arrangements will have been revised due to coronavirus restrictions and that members of the public should “not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral.”

Government regulations relaxed from Monday allow up to 30 people to attend funerals.

Simple, no problem

The arrangements secured by Covid may well suit Prince Philip, who, according to newspaper reports over the years, had expressed his preference for a hassle-free funeral.

This contrasts with the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, also known as Queen Elizabeth, who lay undisturbed in historic Westminster Hall next to the Houses of Parliament after her death in 2002.

Some 200,000 people marched in tribute, the line winding for miles (miles) on the Thames.

Philip, a clear-spoken former Navy commander, said he wanted a military-style funeral service in St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in 2018.

Those present are believed to be family members, friends and heads of Commonwealth countries, the Mirror reported.

Prince Philip would not have wanted to be buried in St George’s Chapel or Westminster Abbey, but rather in the Frogmore Gardens of Windsor Castle.

The Royal Burial Ground includes the mausoleum of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.

Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, is also buried there.

Palace organizer

Philip was reportedly closely involved in the funeral arrangements coordinated by the Lord Chamberlain’s office at Buckingham Palace.

The Lord Chamberlain is the highest official in the Royal Household and his office organizes ceremonies such as garden parties and state visits.

The post is currently held by William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel, who will soon retire and hand over to Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, the former managing director of the internal security agency MI5.

Under the protocol, the Lord Chamberlain consults first with the Prime Minister and then the Queen to agree on the announcement of the death and funeral.

Next, Buckingham Palace officially announces the death, triggering well-repeated special programming on national media.

National mourning

The College of Arms said all official flags, including the Union Jack, will be half-masted until 8:00 a.m. the day after the funeral.

The royal standard above the royal residence will however continue to fly to represent the continuity of the monarchy.

The royal family and members of the royal household will wear dark clothing and armbands. The Royal Household website has been changed, as have the family’s official social media platforms.

The funeral of a senior member of the royal family is expected to take place eight days after the death, according to the National Association of Civic Officers.

There will be an announcement on whether to maintain a two-minute national silence on the day of the funeral.

The last major royal funeral was for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, just over a month after the death of her youngest daughter, the monarch’s sister, Princess Margaret.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)