Buckingham Palace has already begun funeral preparations after Prince Philip’s death at the age of 99. These preparations are expected to follow very specific plans as per Prince Philip’s wishes, which include a “no fuss” funeral and a private ceremony.
Although the Duke of Edinburgh is entitled to a state funeral as the Queen’s consort, he has expressed that he doesn’t want all the “fuss” of lying in state at Westminster Hall, The Independent previously reported. Instead, His Royal Highness is expected to have a private funeral ceremony at a chapel on the Windsor Castle grounds in accordance with his final wishes. It will be in the style of a “military” funeral, the date of which has not yet been announced publicly.
“The funeral will not be a state funeral and will not be preceded by a lying-in-state,” the College of Arms confirmed on Friday, April 9, per The Mirror. “His Royal Highness’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George’s Chapel. This is in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes.” The public has also been asked not to attempt to attend or participate in any funereal events due to ongoing social distancing guidelines, whereas mourners at St. George’s Chapel will be limited to 30 people at a time.
The late Prince is also said to have been “closely involved” with Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace in planning his funeral arrangements before his death, royal reporter Zahra Mulroy told The Mirror. “As for the funeral itself, it’s believed the guest list will be comparatively paired back with only family, friends, and heads of state from Commonwealth countries attending a service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, in the style of a military funeral,” Mulroy adds.
Whether this guest list will include his grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who now live in California, has yet to be confirmed. However, The New York Post cites a royal source who claims the Duke of Sussex plans to attend no matter what. “Harry was extremely close to his grandfather,” the insider said. “He will, of course, be there, no matter how difficult relations are between the Sussexes and the family.” Meghan, who is far along in her pregnancy, will likely have to consult with her doctor before taking the 12-hour flight from California to the U.K.
Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip’s death on Friday, April 9, with a statement from his wife and monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” read the statement at the time. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
His death came just weeks after a nearly month-long hospital stay in March 2021. He was discharged from King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on March 16, where he recovered from heart surgery. “The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII’s Hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a preexisting condition,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. “His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him at both King Edward VII’s Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital and everyone who has sent their good wishes.”