First details for Prince Philip's funeral announced – here's what we know so far

By Zach Harper, with files from Sharnaz Shahid

Prince Philip will not have a state funeral and the public will not be able to attend the ceremony, Buckingham Palace has announced following the Duke of Edinburgh's death on April 9 at the age of 99.

A date has not been set for the funeral yet, but we do know the Queen's beloved husband will be laid to rest at Windsor Castle, as is custom. Before his burial, he will be remembered with a ceremony at St George's Chapel on the Windsor grounds.

"The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral," a statement reads.

State funerals are only reserved for the sovereign, but Philip was to have a ceremonial royal funeral. The Queen Mother also received one after her death in 2002.

It is possible the Duke of Edinburgh could be honoured with a later memorial service once the coronavirus pandemic is over, but this is not understood to be something he wanted.

The Queen Mother's coffin is carried during her funeral at Westminster Abbey in 2002. Photo: © Sion Touhig/Getty Images

Normally, royal funerals bring thousands of mourners out on the streets. Indeed, many people are already flocking to the gates of Buckingham Palace and other royal residences to leave tributes to the late duke in the form of flowers, notes and other trinkets. The family is asking people to consider making donations to charity instead of leaving floral tributes to the duke.

If you'd like to leave your thoughts and good wishes for the Queen and her loved ones, you can do so on the the Royal Family's official website through a virtual book of condolences. The royals are asking people to do so digitally instead of queuing up in the streets at this time. There will be no physical book of condolences to sign.

Royal funerals also typically involve hundreds of members of the armed forces and processions through the streets, which is obviously not possible in light of COVID-19. Since Philip was one of the most prominent members of the British military, his funeral will quite obviously still have some sort of military element, though this will likely be quite scaled down.

Current COVID-19 restrictions in England stipulate funerals may involve up to 30 people and must maintain strict social distancing. This could change, but it's not known whether the attendance will be allowed to be larger, whether the family will cap it at 30 people, or whether they will opt to shrink the guest list.


A woman leaves a bouquet of flowers outside the gate at Buckingham Palace in London following the death of Prince Philip on April 9. Photo: © TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

All official flags throughout the United Kingdom will be flown at half-mast, and this includes embassies, which are technically on British soil abroad. Commonwealth nations are also likely to fly their official flags at half-staff. U.K. flags will be left that way until 8 a.m. following the day of the funeral.

Flags are seen flying at half-mast outside the British Embassy in Paris following the death of Prince Philip on April 9. Photo: © ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

While no date has been announced for the funeral yet, we also know the Royal Family will now enter a period of mourning which could last for several weeks. This usually involves cancelling or postponing royal engagements, unless they are for charities, but since most engagements are online at this time, cancelling or postponing them is at the Queen's discretion.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Philip had passed away on April 9 with a statement on behalf of Her Majesty and the Royal Family.

"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," the statement read.

"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."

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